Advertisement

  1. ITV Report

Second man in court after attempted ATM theft

The aftermath of an attempted ATM theft in Ballynahinch on Monday. Credit: UTV

A court has heard an ATM in Ballynahinch, Co Down, was rammed up to 30 times before the thieves gave up.

Darren Porter, aged 25 and from Listooder Park in Saintfield, appeared before Downpatrick Magistrates’ Court on Thursday.

He’s the second man to appear in court accused of involvement in the early morning raid on the filling station earlier this week.

Porter is charged with burglary, criminal damage endangering life and aggravated vehicle-taking.

He only spoke to confirm he understood the charges against him.

A detective constable said she could connect him to the charges, telling the court police had seized a number of items of clothing they believe belong to Porter and match clothing worn by one of the suspects captured on CCTV at the petrol station on Monday morning.

Police have also seized a mobile phone they believe belongs to Porter, and contains messages between him and a co-accused.

The court was told a stolen digger was used to ram the ATM up to 30 times.

Police said when it appeared they weren’t getting anyway, the thieves rammed the front of the shop, stealing a quantity of cigarettes, cash and scratch cards.

As the digger was driven away it brought down the forecourt canopy, the court was told that that then struck a passing car.

Porter’s defence team said he had denied the charges during police interview.

They have also challenged a witness's description of a man police believe was Porter seen running from a burned-out car in Saintfield.

Police believe that car was used in the crime, but Porter’s defence team said there was no forensic evidence linking him to the crime.

Police responded saying forensic testing is continuing to take place on items of clothing and footwear.

The court heard a 22-year-old woman, described as Porter’s girlfriend, has been charged with handling stolen goods.

Porter’s bail application was refused and he was remanded into custody to appear again in court on 12 December.