Ciaran Barker and Caoimhin Corr deny they robbed the Millisle store and hijacked a Tesco van before being stopped by a Stinger device in Belfast

Ciaran Barker, 40, and Caoimhin Corr, 24, pleaded not guilty to all charges against them

Ciaran Barker, 40, and Caoimhin Corr, 24, pleaded not guilty to all charges against them, all of which were allegedly committed on August 5 last year, but Downpatrick Crown Court heard that “a trial is unlikely to be necessary.” becomes.” “.

Barker, of Whitewell Road, Newtownabbey, and Corr, of Norglen Parade, west Belfast, are jointly charged with 11 charges including hijacking a Tesco van, two counts of dangerous driving and three counts of aggravated vehicle theft with compensation.

They are also accused of driving while banned and stealing alcohol worth £80 from Winemark.

Barker faces three further charges: stealing chocolate bars worth £10 from the Maxol petrol station on Frances Street in Newtownards, resisting police and assaulting police – all allegedly committed on the above date.

When the pair were first charged, the court heard how the catalog of offenses began at a Winemark pub in Millisle when Barker brought £80 of alcohol to the bar and the pair walked out without paying while Corr held the door open and climbed in a car driven by a third man.

Ciaran Barker

A detective reported the offenses and then moved to Ards, where an employee at the Maxol workshop observed the defendants allegedly tampering with a motorcycle and Corr offered her a bar of chocolate.

However, when she checked the store’s CCTV that day, she discovered that the couple had previously been to the gas station and that the chocolate on offer had actually been stolen.

A short distance away, on George’s Street, a Tesco delivery van driver was sitting with his arm out the window when Barker grabbed him and demanded he “give him the keys”.

As Barker nodded toward the passenger side, the driver looked up and saw Corr getting into the vehicle, and fearing what might happen, the driver got out. Then Barker got in and the van sped through the busy city center.

The officer claimed the van was spotted on the wrong side of the road as it ran a red light, narrowly missing a pedestrian pushing a stroller, before leaving the town towards Dundonald, where it collided with other cars and drove through more red lights.

At some point, the officer said, Corr and Barker swapped driving duties because when police stopped the hijacked van on the Sydenham bypass, bursting the tires with a stinger device, it was Corr who got out on the driver’s side.

In court today, Judge Geoffrey Miller KC released the couple on bail until November 14 and warned: “As far as credit is concerned, I will extend until then, but after that date you will have to face the consequences.”

The three-week adjournment “gives sufficient time to consider your respective positions,” Judge Miller said, adding: “Having read the newspaper, I would be very surprised” if the case went to trial.

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