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Pair facing trial for £10,000 knifepoint robbery

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Two men are to stand trial over a £10,000 cash-in-transit robbery in north Belfast during which a security guard was held up at knifepoint.

Terence McCafferty, 45, of Carlisle Road, Belfast, and George Martin Damien Daniel McGrady, 53, of Swanston Drive, Newtownabbey, appeared at Belfast Crown Court for an arraignment hearing on Tuesday.

Both defendants pleaded not guilty to robbing a Group Four Solutions guard using a large knife or similar weapon on February 25, 2013.They also denied a second charge of handling stolen goods.

A prosecution lawyer said an application is to be made before the start of the trial to grant anonymity to three police witnesses involved in the case.

A defence barrister for McGrady said he was still waiting for “outstanding CCTV footage’’ from the prosecution.

Deputy Belfast Recorder Judge Corinne Philpott QC ordered that any outstanding CCTV footage be handed over to both defence teams by this Friday.

The court heard that the trial, scheduled to start on Monday, September 8, is expected to last seven days.

McGrady was released on continuing bail and McCafferty was remanded back into custody to await their trial.

No details were given in court about the nature of the charges both accused faced.

However, during a High Court bail application in July 2013 by McCafferty, a prosecution lawyer claimed the G4S guard was ordered to hand over a cash box containing the money by a man branishing a Samurai sword or machete-type sword outside an off-licence on the Oldpark Road.

He alleged that police then tracked two men in a car to a shed off the Crumlin Road.

The High Court judge was told that McCafferty and McGrady were arrested after coming out of the barn 25 minutes later.

The prosecution lawyer claimed that inside the property, police found large quantities of cash in mixed denominations, a basin of red liquid, gloves, irons and a machete.

A strong chemical smell was also detected, it was alleged.

The lawyer told the court: “Police described the scene as a production plant for washing and ironing bank notes.

“It was clear the efforts were made to wash dye and smart water from the notes and dry them with the irons.’’

A defence lawyer told the High Court that police no longer suspect that McCafferty to be the robber armed with the sword.

“He has gone from potentially, on the Crown case, of being at the forefront of this robbery right down to somebody at the tail end of the cleaning operation.’’

 

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