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Man who ‘jumped from moving vehicle to flee police’ in Armagh refused bail

Court heard that the defendant was arrested in an outbuilding at Mall East after a search involving eight officers and a police dog

Armagh Courthouse

A man who was found in an outbuilding on the Mall after jumping from a moving vehicle to flee police has been refused bail.

Anghel Toader, of Willowwood Green, and Ion Dobrin, whose address was given simply as Dublin, both aged 33, are jointly accused of handling stolen properly, going equipped for theft and attempted theft of a Citroen Berlingo valued at £12,000.

Toader is further charged with having no driving licence or insurance.

At Armagh Magistrates’, Court, sitting at Newry, on Tuesday, defence barrister David McKeown informed the court that his client, Dobrin, wished to apply for bail.

None of the facts in the case were heard, however, a detective constable told a previous hearing that on the morning of November 20 police were tasked to search for an individual seen acting suspiciously in the Loughgall Road area of Armagh.

He was said to be “loitering” around vehicles in the grounds of a residential property.

A short time later a silver Ford Transit van in a state of disrepair was spotted being driven erratically through Armagh city.

When signalled to stop, a male front seat passenger exited the vehicle and fled on foot.

Police gave chase but lost sight of him around the Orange Hall on Mall East.

The person driving was Toader and, upon searching the vehicle, officers discovered an angle grinder, two catalytic converters and various other tools.

It transpired the vehicle was uninsured and Toader, “was unable to furnish police with the details of the male who made off, claiming he didn’t know his name nor explained his relationship to him”.

He was also unable to produce his driving licence, or give a reasonable account for the equipment in the van.

Toader was arrested and a few hours later police located Dobrin hiding in an outbuilding at Mall East. He too was arrested.

Outlining objections on Tuesday, a constable stated that police were concerned that there was a risk of flight citing the need for “considerable resources” to locate this defendant after he allegedly fled from officers.

Pressed on this by Mr McKeown, the constable outlined this required both a police dog and at least eight officers.

Mr McKeown stated that the main basis for the application was delay, with his client having been in custody since the date of the alleged offences.

He told court that a bail address in Belfast had been proffered by a lady who had known his client and his family for a number of years.

District Judge Bernie Kelly stated: “I do not consider him a suitable candidate for bail. He isn’t a native to Northern Ireland, by that I mean he has neither chosen to settle in Northern Ireland or been born here.

“He had come from the Republic of Ireland to the UK, which we all know is no longer part of Europe. It is my view that the flight risk is very high.”

Bail was refused and both cases were adjourned until February 22 for an update.

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