Belfast Telegraph

Co Antrim man accused of £160k ATM theft released on bail

The Asda store in Antrim following robbery
The Asda store in Antrim following robbery

By Alan Erwin

A man charged with stealing nearly £160,000 stored in cash machines ripped from a supermarket wall has secured High Court bail.

Barry Richard Smyth, 31, faces charges connected to the raid at an Asda store in Antrim earlier this year.

He is to be released from custody after defence lawyers claimed there could be innocent reasons for a DNA link to the digger used to tear two ATM machines from the premises.

Smyth, of Ballyutoag Road in Nutts Corner, Co Antrim, denies two counts of theft, criminal damage to the Asda building and taking a vehicle without authority.

The charges relate to an attack at the supermarket on February 1.

Close to £160,000 in cash which was in the two machines at the time has not been recovered.

According to the prosecution case Smyth is forensically connected to the control panel of the stolen digger used to carry out the heist.

But seeking bail today, defence barrister Sean Mullan cited a preliminary expert report which he said raised a number of possible innocent explanations for the DNA link.

Mr Mullan confirmed his client strongly denies any involvement in the raid.

Granting bail, Mr Justice Horner banned Smyth from the Asda store in Antrim.

He also imposed conditions that the accused must provide a signed letter of the offer of employment, and prohibited him from driving any plant machinery outside work duties.

Meanwhile, a man charged with stealing another cash machine containing £13,000 in Co Tyrone last year was also given bail.

Eugene Tomany, 32, of Glen Road in Keady, Co Armagh, denies carrying out the theft.

A digger was used to rip the Danske Bank machine from the wall of a store at Fintona on December 22.

It was then placed in the back of an open-roofed vehicle and driven off.

According to the prosecution that money also remains missing.

Tomany must lodge the title deeds of his house before he can be released from custody.

Mr Justice Colton also imposed a curfew, banned him from leaving Northern Ireland and ordered relatives to put up £10,000 in cash sureties.

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