Man, 51, charged with stealing car and not paying for fuel, held overnight in Co Kerry
- 19:28, 18 Aug 2022
- Updated: 19:28, 18 Aug 2022
A MAN who appeared in court charged with stealing a car and failing to pay for fuel was remanded in custody overnight by a judge.
Gardai objected to bail in the case of 51-year-old Co Kerry man Billy Burns of No Fixed Abode.
He was charged with the two offences today in Tralee Garda Station.
Mr Burns is accused of unlawfully taking a car from an address in Killarney on October 3 last year.
And he is charged with theft of fuel at a Circle K filling station in Dublin the following day, October 4.
Detective Sgt Michael Quirke told Judge Joanne Carroll at Tralee District Court they had a number of objections to bail.
He said the nature of the evidence against Mr Burns was strong, including evidence from the victim of the theft.
Garda Quirke told the court that the victim had returned after walking his dog to find Burns at his house.
He gave him €40 when asked for money.
When he then went inside he saw the defendant driving away in his son’s car.
The accused is alleged to have taken the key while he was in the house.
The following day Burns was allegedly caught on CCTV footage filling the car with fuel and driving away without paying for the €40 worth of diesel.
The car was subsequently found in Northern Ireland.
After its return to Co Kerry, a forensic examination found Mr Burns DNA on a cigarette butt and on a coke bottle in the vehicle.
Sergeant Quirke said Burns travelled from Northern Ireland to Scotland where he remained until returning to his native Killarney on August 9 last.
He said Burns had been in the town’s National Park since returning to the jurisdiction.
Questioned by defending lawyer Padraig O’Connell he said while no directions had been received from the DPP it was likely the offences would be dealt with in the District Court.
Mr O’Connell said he was objecting to the Garda application. His client, who was in court was willing to abide by any conditions imposed by the court including signing on twice daily at a Garda Station, observing a curfew, not having any contact with the alleged victims and staying out of Killarney.
He said: “He is entitled to a presumption of innocence and to a constitutional right to his freedom”.
Judge Carroll said she would grant Burns bail provided he could provide a satisfactory address that he would stay at to the court and Gardai.
Mr O’Connell said the defendant had an aunt in Skibbereen, County Cork who was willing to let him stay with her.
However Gardai were unable to contact the lady or verify the address and the Judge said that while Burns is entitled to bail he must provide an acceptable address as one of the conditions of getting bail.
She remanded him in custody to Tralee Garda Station to appear before her again tomorrow to allow him time to secure an address that he can stay at.