Belfast Telegraph

Robbers threatened Co Antrim pizza takeaway staff with knives, court hears

Armed robbers threatened staff at a Co Antrim pizza takeaway with knives before seizing £1,700 in cash, the High Court heard.

The raiders also threatened to return if they discovered their victims had not handed over all the money, prosecutors said.

Details of the attack on Four Star Pizza at Doagh Road in Newtownabbey emerged as one of the accused was granted bail.

William Carrigan, 31, faces charges of robbery, possession of an offensive weapon with intent to commit an offence, and driving while unfit through drink or drugs.

He is alleged to have gone into the takeaway with a co-accused demanding cash as it was closing for the night on September 8.

"Both males were seen on CCTV footage to raise the knives they were brandishing above their heads in a threatening manner to the staff," a prosecution lawyer said.

Around £1,700 was emptied out of the till and a safe before the intruders left.

It was claimed that as Carrigan, of King's Road, Newtownabbey, left he told staff he knew their names and where they lived.

Mr Justice Weir heard he allegedly warned he would be back if some of the money had been held back.

Both accused were arrested after police stopped them in a Ford Focus car nearby.

A mobile phone taken from one of the victims and two knives were recovered.

"A substantial amount of cash was strewn about the vehicle and also in the glove compartment," the prosecutor added.

Defence counsel Mark Farrell accepted Carrigan faces a strong prima facie case.

But he based his application on bail having already been granted to the co-accused.

The barrister added: "This was very amateurish, although obviously it's a serious matter."

Agreeing with the severity of the alleged offences, Mr Justice Weir insisted: "People who have to work in these premises late at night to earn some money have got to be protected from this type of activity."

The judge confirmed he was only granting bail because the co-accused has already secured his release from custody.

Imposing a curfew and ban on contacting any of the victims, he also ordered Carrigan not to go within half a mile of the pizzeria.

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