Dublin teen accused of Portadown burglaries

Symbol of law and justice in the empty courtroom, law and justice concept.
Symbol of law and justice in the empty courtroom, law and justice concept.

A Dublin teenager is allegedly linked to one of two crime gangs suspected of being behind a big rise in domestic burglaries across Portadown, Armagh and south Down, the High Court heard today.

Prosecutors claimed Joseph Cash was involved in up to five daytime break-ins within 24 hours at homes in Portadown, Armagh and Newtownhamilton.

The 18-year-old and four co-accused were arrested after police stopped a car in Tandragee on May 19.

Cash, of Kylemore Road, Ballyfermot, Dublin, is charged with five counts of burglary and a further offence of going equipped.

Opposing his application for bail, prosecution counsel Stephanie Boyd said: “From the start of 2016 there’s been a large increase in the number of burglaries throughout the province.

“Police have connected this to two particular criminal gangs and would say this group arrested are connected with one of those gangs, mostly working around Portadown, Armagh and also in south Down.”

The alleged offences were all committed on May 18.

Mrs Boyd said the raids were carried out during daytime when homeowners are out at work.

Cash is allegedly linked by footwear marks recovered from three of the houses targeted.

He was also picked out during a Viper identification process, the court heard.

With a blood sample taken from one of the properties sent for forensic tests, Madam Justice McBride was further told of witness sightings of a black Saab car the accused were in when arrested.

Mrs Boyd added: “There are four other incidents still being investigated, with evidential opportunities and there may be fingerprints to be analysed and checked against the suspects.”

However, the application was adjourned amid queries about the information available to the court.

The judge indicated she wanted more details before deciding on the bid to be released from custody.