Man charged in connection with series of digger raids on ATMs in County Antrim has curfew removal bid refused

Man charged in connection with series of digger raids on ATMs in County Antrim has curfew removal bid refused

A MAN who is one of a number of people charged in connection with a series of ATM thefts involving diggers in County Antrim has failed in a bid to have a night time curfew removed in relation to his home address.

David Edward McClurkin (36), a mechanic, with an address listed as Templeton Park in Templepatrick, is charged with conspiracy to steal ATMs, cash and other property between October 27, 2018 and December 6, 2019.

Defence barrister Andrew Moriarty said the defendant had been on bail and there had been no breaches.

He said the defendant had been going to a caravan in Fermanagh and whilst there he was "without a curfew".

He said there was a "slight paradox" that the defendant could be at the caravan "without any bail conditions but yet whenever he comes back home he is re-subjected to the curfew condition despite the vintage of this particular case".

Antrim Magistrates Court, sitting in Ballymena, heard the home curfew is from 11pm to 7am.

A detective constable said the investigating officer had "tried to work with Mr McClurkin to reduce the burden on the court. They had allowed him to go to his caravan and then there was a week for his anniversary recently that they allowed him to go to Scotland".

The policeman said the investigating officer was "vehemently opposed" to the full removal of the curfew arrangements.

The officer said since the defendant and three co-defendants has been arrested and had either been in custody or on curfew "no further digger ATM attacks have taken place".

He said it was the view of the investigating officer the bail conditions "are working".

The court heard McClurkin is not fitted with an electronic monitoring tag but police would call to his door to check and the co-accused were also subject to curfews.

District Judge Nigel Broderick said the defendant faces serious charges which are scheduled to be the subject of commital proceedings on September 28 to be sent to the Crown Court.

He said the co-defendants are also on curfew and the the curfew does not impinge on McClurkin's employment.

The judge said the police account was that the condition "appears to have had, prima facie, the effect of reducing this defendant's alleged offending".

Judge Broderick said he was not removing the bail which he believed was "proportionate in all the circumstances".

A prosecutor told the court a 'McAleenan Warning' had been issued by a judge in relation to the September 28 Preliminary Enquiry (PE) in the case.

Judge Broderick told the police officer that meant that if the "PE isn't ready I am going to discharge the charges, so you are going to have to then issue a summons to bring these defendants back to court and if they are in custody, or subject to bail, all that will stop.

"It must proceed on the 28th otherwise the charges will be discharged".