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Mother denies being driver in heist

A mother-of-two acted as a driver for men accused of a £50,000 armed raid on a Co Armagh jewellers, the High Court has been told.

Prosecutors claimed Mary McCullough (29) picked up the suspects following the heist in Tandragee last Thursday.

McCullough, of Clonmeen, Drumgor, Craigavon, faces charges of robbery, carrying a firearm with intent and failing to stop for police.

She was granted bail but ordered to stay away from the scene of the crime.

Three men have been charged in connection with the robbery while police are also searching for another potential suspect.

The court heard two masked men entered the jewellery shop on Market Street armed with a sawn-off shotgun and a hammer.

A display counter was smashed, items seized and a member of staff ordered to open a safe containing chains and watches left in for repair.

Crown counsel Kate McKay said the jewellery taken was valued at £50,000.

The raiders escaped and got into a waiting Audi A4 driven by a third man which had allegedly been hijacked from a car dealership in Mallusk, Newtownabbey.

It was set on fire near Scarva before the suspects ran to a BMW which McCullough is alleged to have driven.

Following a pursuit it was stopped in the Craigavon area and balaclavas, gloves and boiler suits recovered.

A Vauxhall Corsa was also searched and some of the stolen jewellery seized, the court heard.

Mrs McKay said: “It appears

there was a switch at the scene where the Audi was burnt out.

“Jewellery was moved from the Audi to the Corsa, and the balaclavas were in the BMW.”

More stolen goods and the sawn-off shotgun were found in a garden coal bunker in Clonmeen.

During questioning the accused admitted to having been contacted by her cousin to come and collect him and his friends. She denied knowledge of the robbery.

Barry Gibson, defending, disputed prosecution claims that she could interfere with the course of justice if released on bail.

Granting bail, Mr Justice Treacy banned McCullough from contact with her co-accused or from going to Market Street, Tandragee.

The judge also imposed a curfew and ruled that she could not be released until her father lodges a £1,000 cash surety.

Belfast Telegraph