Robbery accused who had £970 in his socks ‘claimed he had won it’

Court
Court

An alleged convenience store robber arrested on a bike with nearly £1,000 stuffed down his socks claimed he had just won at the bookies, the High Court heard on Tuesday.

Prosecutors also claimed Thomas Robin’s fingerprint was found on a box knocked over and then picked up by the unsteady armed raider at Vivo on Belfast’s Ormeau Road.

Robin, 23, of Raby Street in the city, faces charges of robbery and possession of a knife over the mid-afternoon hold-up carried out on April 1.

He was refused bail due to the risk of re-offending.

A judge was told that a hooded man had approached staff at the shop counter brandishing a 6” knife and demanded: “Open the f****** till.”

The robber, described as being unsteady on his feet, made off with just over £970 in cash.

According to the prosecution CCTV from the store shows the raider knock a light bulb box off a shelf before picking it up and replacing it.

Police detained Robin riding a bicycle 10 minutes later. He had around £975 in his socks, the court heard.

Prosecution counsel said he denied involvement in the robbery, telling officers he had been at his girlfriend’s house and left to visit a local bookmakers.

“He said he had placed some bets and had a win of approximately £360,” the barrister added.

Robin then claimed he left the bookies and was given four so-called Blues pills by a friend he met near Ormeau Bridge.

Opposing bail, the prosecutor claimed he has now been forensically linked to the robbery.

“A fingerprint on the light bulb box has been confirmed to be the applicant’s,” she said.

Defence counsel Richard McConkey argued that his client regularly shops for groceries in the store and could have touched the box when he was seeking lighting for his new home.

Mr McConkey also claimed staff descriptions of the robber do not match Robin.

Denying bail, however, Mrs Justice Keegan held: “I consider the Crown have made out a case in relation to re-offending and there is a risk (of that).”