Court hears girl, 5, was alone in kitchen when burglar entered house

A five-year-old girl was alone in the kitchen of her family home in Cork City when a burglar entered the house and began to go through a purse.

That was the allegation made by Detective Garda Rory O’Connell during an objection to an application for bail made by 37-year-old Graham O’Mahony of no fixed address at Cork District Court.

It was further alleged the child’s mother came downstairs and walked into the kitchen where the intruder verbally abused her before leaving.

Defence solicitor, Diarmuid Kelleher, stressed that these were allegations and that there is a presumption of innocence. He said: “Mr O’Mahony strenuously denies these allegations.”

The defendant did not apply for bail when he was first arrested and remanded in custody on April 5.

Because of coronavirus restrictions he has — like other prisoners — been on 23-hour lockdown.

Mr O’Mahony complained today this is affecting his mental health, that he is not getting to see the prison psychiatrist, has no visitors and is not getting his medication.

Judge Olann Kelleher refused the bail application. He said the accused man is quite entitled to apply for bail but that he did not meet the required threshold. 

He remanded Mr O’Mahony in custody for a further two weeks. “I would recommend that he would get any medical treatment he requires,” Judge Kelleher said.

Sergeant John Kelleher said the Garda file has been sent to the DPP. Mr O’Mahony will appear in court by video link from prison on the next occasion, June 9.

He is charged with entering a house on March 25 at Edward Walsh Rd, Togher, Cork, as a trespasser and attempting to steal by searching the owner’s purse on the kitchen table.

Det. Garda Rory O’Connell said an intruder arrived in the house at 8.30pm.

“It is alleged he entered through an unlocked front door and entered the kitchen and picked up a purse and went through the contents when a five-year-old girl was on her own in the kitchen. 

"It is alleged the child’s mother came down the stairs and that he verbally abused the mother and then left the house.

“It is feared by gardaí that if released on bail he would commit further serious offences. When arrested by gardaí he disclosed he was taking heroin. We believe he will commit further serious offences to feed his drug habit,” Det Garda O’Connell said.

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