Belfast Telegraph

Court told Belfast man a 'key gang member' in Northern Ireland ATM raids

The court was told Martin had been sought since May.
The court was told Martin had been sought since May.

By Alan Erwin

An alleged getaway driver and "key member" of a criminal gang was remanded in custody on Friday accused of being part of raids on nine cash machines.

Jonathon Martin appeared before Belfast Magistrates' Court charged with a series of attacks police have linked to an organised crime gang.

The 31-year, of Lord Street in the city, faces nine counts of burglary.

The alleged offences relate to the theft of ATMs and their contents, at locations across the greater Belfast area, on dates between November 2018 and May 2019.

A detective told the court £120,000 stolen during the break-ins has not been recovered.

Martin is the fourth man to be charged as part of the investigation into the heists.

Opposing bail, the detective claimed he is linked through cell-site analysis.

"Police believe he's the getaway driver and a key member of the organised crime gang," she said.

The court was told Martin had been sought since May.

A defence solicitor disputed the attempts made to locate the accused before he was located at his girlfriend's house.

"There was no active pursuit of Mr Martin, no police raids, no 3am knock on the door," he said.

The lawyer also argued that his client has not been identified at the site of any of the burglaries.

Referring to the missing £120,000, he added: "There's certainly no trappings of wealth around Mr Martin.

"He's simply a working class gentleman."

Bail was refused, however, due to fears he may re-offend or fail to turn up again.

Deputy District Judge Anne Marshall remanded Martin in custody to appear again by video-link on October 11.

Belfast Telegraph Digital

Popular

From Belfast Telegraph