A MAN who was allegedly apprehended by a brave member of the public following the robbery of a grocery store in Roslea, in which a woman was threatened at knife point, has appeared before Fermanagh court.
26-year-old Michal Blazejewski is accused of robbery and common assault after the Day to Day store was targeted on Friday past when two men wearing balaclavas and one brandishing a knife took €400 from the rural shop.
Blazejewski, a married man from Tully in Monaghan, openly wept as District Judge Nigel Broderick refused his bail application during Monday’s magistrates court.
A prosecutor outlined to the court that on Friday at around 3.15pm, two men wearing balaclavas and dark clothing went in to the Roslea store.
One of the men, who is believed to be Blazejewski, ransacked the euro till taking approximately €200 and a further €200 from a cash bag.
The other man approached the female staff member shouting “money, money, money” in an aggressive manner while allegedly brandishing a seven inch knife in his left hand.
The woman was punched to the face with such force that she banged her head off a fridge door and fell to the ground.
When she stood up and told them there was no money, the man hit her on the face causing her lip to rip open.
She was later medically examination by a doctor who treated her for swelling to both cheeks and five stitches to her lip.
As the two men left the store, a number of people who witnessed the incident followed the pair and one man detained the defendant while the second man made off with the get away car, a silver Volkswagen Golf, towards the border.
As Brendan Sherry tried to hold down the defendant, he was punched in the eye.
During police interview, Blazejewski admitted he was involved in the incident and co-operated with police enquiries.
A detective constable outlined a number of police concerns to the court surrounding his bail application claiming that he may abscond further court dates because he lives in Co Monaghan.
During the accused’s bail application, his solicitor, Tony McGettigan put it to the detective that his client was not the man who attacked Ms McArdle.
He added: “The defendant had the cash bag who stole it from the tills so this indicated that he was not the person who assaulted this unfortunate lady.
“He has shown considerable remorse during his interviews.”
Mr McGettigan told the court that his client’s version of events suggests he was not the ‘prime mover’ behind the robbery and claimed he was not the planner.
He continued: “The whole family, his mother, father, two siblings and cousins all live in the Republic of Ireland and have done so for around ten years.
“I have his passport which could be surrendered and all the members of his family have gathered together and have €5,000 which they can hand in as cash surety.
“He has been unemployed for two years and got involved in this matter spontaneously. He has never been involved in violence and was not aware that violence was going to be used.
“He in fact, understandably, was attacked by members of the public when he was restrained and suffered a head injury. He was medically examined because he was vomiting and just before his first police interview he vomited again and had to be taken to the South West Acute Hospital.
“This was a nasty and unpleasant incident and I sympathise with the lady but my client was not the prime mover.”
Judge Broderick told the court there is a real risk of a custodial sentence and because he lives outside the jurisdiction, he was concerned he would not turn up for his trial.
The District Judge denied his bail application and told him to reappear at Fermanagh court on April 28 via video link.
As Judge Broderick sent him into custody he fell to his knees and wept as family members sitting in the public gallery were openly distressed.
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