Newspaper for Crossmaglen, South Armagh, Newry and Down.

Cullyhanna pair bailed on kidnap and robbery charges

Two men from Cullyhanna have been remanded on bail accused of kidnapping and robbing a taxi driver.

Robert Tasker (25) and Antion McCooey (24) with separate addresses in St. Patrick’s Park, Cullyhanna appeared before Newry Magistrates Court on Wednesday last.   The pair were charged with kidnapping “unlawfully and by force or fraud” and robbing the Dundalk taxi driver of €120 on 29th November of last year.  It’s alleged the men ordered a taxi from a fast food takeaway on Park Street, Dundalk and, during the journey to Cullyhanna, produced a screwdriver and a Stanley knife.  They threatened the driver, who drove on to Cullyhanna, before escaping when another car came on the scene.

CCTV footage taken from the restaurant identified Tasker and McCooey and they were arrested by police, and later bailed, before being charged with the offences last month.

Both men have been released on continuing bail and are scheduled to return to court on 30th August.  Strict bail conditions require both defendants to be electronically tagged, observe nightly curfews from 11pm to 7am, have no contact with each other or the alleged victim and surrender their passports.

McCooey, who was remanded on £250 bail, is also restricted from travelling in a taxi and must not be under the influence of alcohol at any time in a public place.

In a separate, unrelated hearing, Tasker was accused of a number of drug-related offences for which he was required to sign a £1,000 surety charge, must report to a police station twice weekly and is not allowed access to a mobile phone.