Second brother in custody on Brinks van robbery charges

December 22, 2012

Two brothers, believed to be members of the Irish Travelling Community, are now in custody charged with the robbery of £15,000 from a Brinks transit cash van in September.

William Mongan (29), whose address is listed as Dunmurry, Belfast, joins his brother, Patrick Mongan, who is currently on remand on similar charges.  William was arrested after a cross border manhunt ended with him handing himself in on December 10th.

Along with his brother, he also faces additional charges of hijacking and handling stolen property.

The charges relate to the audacious daylight robbery of the cash-in-transit van at Damolly Retail Park on September 28th this year, and the subsequent hijacking of a vehicle while the pair were being pursued by police in a cross border chase.

During a hearing at Newry Magistrates Court, where bail for the accused was opposed by police, the court heard details of the robbery.  A detective constable described how a Brinks van was collecting money from premises in Damolly Retail Park, when a silver Mitsubishi pulled up alongside him.  A male exited the vehicle brandishing a knife and threatened the Brinks employee, forcing him to hand over the cash box.

The masked men then sped off in the Mitsubishi, which police believe was driven by William Mongan.  Pursued by police, the vehicle headed towards the Republic.  Gardai were alerted and, at around 12pm, a garda car was rammed by the Mitsubishi, whereupon Gardai opened fire.  Fleeing the damaged vehicle, the men then hijacked a silver Audi TT on the Edenappa Road near Newry, viciously dragging the female driver through the window of the car, before punching her in the face and leaving her on the road.

The hijacked Audi was later recovered in Monaghan, at the scene where a Monaghan County Council lorry had been stolen. Subsequent CCTV footage from a filling station where the council vehicle was found, was examined by police, who identified the pair in the stolen lorry as William and Patrick Mongan.

Other incriminating evidence was also detailed before the court heard how Patrick Mongan was finally apprehended when police were called to a disturbance in a Dungannon hotel in October.  Patrick Mongan was arrested at the scene, while his brother William fled, before surrendering himself to police at Ardmore police station earlier this month.

Judge Eamonn King refused bail for the accused after taking into account his lengthy catalogue of previous offences and the question of whether the defendant would attend a court hearing.

Mongan was remanded in custody at Maghaberry prison to appear before magistrates on January 2nd.