ATM raid accused: I didn't do this; Man, 31, in court over PS160k theft.
Byline: NEVIN FARRELL
A COURT heard yesterday how a man charged over the thefts of two ATMs told police: "I didn't do this".
The claim came as Barry Richard Smyth, 31, appeared in Ballymena court in connection with a number of offences.
He was charged with stealing PS88,590 from one machine and PS74,950 from the other as well as the theft of the ATMs worth PS32,000.
The cash haul, which totals more than PS160,000, has still not been recovered.
Smyth is further charged with causing criminal damage to the Asda building in Antrim and taking a digger and a Mitsubishi L200 vehicle without authority.
He also faces three counts of arson relating to the Mitsubishi vehicle and the ATMs. A Patrick Close at Ballymena IN CUSTODY police officer said she believed she could connect the accused to the charges.
Opposing bail she said in the early hours of February 1 alarms went off at the ATMs at Asda where a digger had been used to rip them from a wall.
CCTV showed the cash machines being driven away in a Mitsubishi vehicle which had been stolen from Ballyeaston.
The vehicle and the shells of the ATMs were found burnt out nine miles from the crime scene at Tildarg Road in Ballyclare.
The officer alleged a match to Smyth's DNA was found on the controls of a stolen digger used in the raid.
She objected to bail fearing he could abscond and may obstruct the course of justice.
The officer said: "Police believe this is part of a larger crime gang."
She told how the nature of the court destruction of property showed the "mindset" of the defendant.
A defence lawyer said his client denied being involved and told police: "I didn't do this".
The lawyer said mixed DNA had been taken from the digger. Refusing bail, District Judge Nigel Broderick said there was a DNA profile from inside the digger and he was believe is part a larger concerned there was a risk of offending and a risk of interference in the case.
Smyth was remanded in custody and the case was adjourned to Antrim Magistrates Court on May 28.
At the same court a man was remanded in custody after being charged in relation to the theft of an ATM at Nutts Corner, Co Antrim, earlier this week. Patrick Close, 21, faces five charges to today
"Police believe this is part of a larger crime gang POLICE OFFICER ballymena court yesterday Patrick Close at Ballymena court IN CUSTODY
Digger used to rip out ATMs in Antrim CRIME SCENE