Belfast Telegraph

Pair accused of cash-in-transit heist 'must remain in custody'

Two men accused of a cash-in-transit heist in Co Down must remain in custody, a High Court judge ruled today.

Bail was refused to Stephen Stewart and Robin Henderson amid claims they wore high-visibility vests, dust masks and used a fake gun during the £10,000 raid.

The pair were said to be initially unfit for interview due to suspected drug use when arrested for the hold-up in Newtownards last week.

Stewart, 34, of Whitehill Pass, Bangor, and Henderson, 36, from Lisbane Drive, Newtownards, are both charged with robbery and possession of a firearm or imitation firearm.

Henderson faces further counts of driving while unfit through drink or drugs and having no insurance or driving licence.

A G4S security guard was forced at gunpoint to handover a cashbox containing around £10,500 at a filling station on the Donaghadee Road on August 20.

Fiona O'Kane, prosecuting, said the robbers, believed to be wearing high-visibility vests and masks, escaped in a Renault Clio.

Armed officers detained the suspects after discovering the vehicle, cashbox, clothing and false registration plates in the nearby Scrabo Estate.

During interview Henderson claimed he had been under duress from men who called with him about a car he was selling and then asked him to buy masks for them.

"He told police no threats were issued but that he was fearful due to their reputation," Mrs O'Kane said.

He also confirmed that he had been smoking cannabis that morning.

Defence counsel Jonathan Connolly, appearing for both accused, said the pair had been deemed unfit for interview when first brought into custody.

He accepted that a prima facie case exists against his clients, but stressed they were prepared to comply with any release conditions.

However, Mr Justice Deeny refused bail due to the risk of re-offending and possible flight.

The judge pointed out: "This was a sophisticated robbery, carefully prepared, successfully carried out and it may have had a very different outcome were it not for what appears expeditious and credible work by police."

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