A man accused of robbing two shops in Armagh will face the Crown Court in the New Year.
Josh Liam Lakin (26), of Elgin Street, Belfast, appeared before Armagh Magistrates’ Court, sitting at Newry Courthouse, via videolink from Maghaberry.
He is accused of two counts of robbery, criminal damage of a PayPoint machine and possession of an offensive weapon, namely a hammer, with intent to commit and indictable offence, namely robbery.
Also appearing before the court was Daniel John Kane (29), of Rockmount Close, Newry, who is accused of two counts of assisting offenders, namely exchanging items of footwear and clothing.
They appeared for the purposes of a preliminary enquiry (PE), the legal process during which a case is referred to the higher court.
The charges, which are alleged to have occurred on February 27 this year, were read and both defendants were asked if they had a legal objection to the holding of a preliminary enquiry. Both replied: “No.”
The prosecution then submitted that based on the papers before the court there was a prima facie case to answer.
Defence counsel made no contrary submissions.
When asked if he wished to give evidence, Lakin said “yes”, to which his defence barrister advised that the answer should be “no”.
At this stage, Lakin requested consultation with his solicitor.
District Judge Rafferty then paused the PE to allow consultation, commenting: “There doesn’t seem to be any communication between the solicitor, client and barrister whatsoever. I appreciate it’s pantomime season but really this is the dictionary definition of how not to do a PE.”
When Lakin was again asked if he wished to give evidence following a consultation with his defence, he said, “no”.
District Judge Rafferty, satisfied there was a prima facie case to answer, adjourned the cases to appear at Newry Crown Court on January 16.