A MAN accused of a string of burglaries and attempted burglaries at the homes of elderly people across rural Fermanagh was denied bail over Christmas.
Alex Kozak (27) of Convent Court, Cavan appeared at Enniskillen Magistrates Court via video link from Maghaberry Prison on Monday last week, the day before Christmas Eve, for a bail hearing.
Kozak is charged with having no insurance or licence, going equipped for burglary, attempted burglary with intent to steal, three counts of burglary with intent to steal, three counts of attempted burglary, and three counts of burglary.
The court heard the alleged burglaries took place right across the county, at the homes of older people aged between 77 and 96-years-old.
All alleged incidents involved an element of distraction, and involved two other co-defendants.
For example on one occasion the court was told two men and a woman called to a house and said they had lost a dog. While the woman spoke with the 94-year-old victim, two men when inside the house.
Other alleged incidents involved the woman asking for a glass of water, or for directions to either Enniskillen of Belfast. She again allegedly kept the victims talking while the men entered their homes.
A silver Vauxhall Zafira car was reportedly seen in the vicinity of the incidents by many of the victims.
Kozak and his co-accused were arrested on the Loughshore Road on August 23rd after police noticed the car they were travelling in matched that described by the victims. He has been remanded in custody since.
The list of charges against Kozak is as follows:
The defendant is accused of burglaries on the Granshagh Road, Enniskillen on August 18th, at Aghingowly Road, Fivemiletown on August 21st, and at Ashwoods Road, Drumawill also on August 21st.
Kozak is charged with burglary with intent to steal at Lough Eyes Road, Tempo, at Greenhill Road, Currin, Maguiresbridge, and at Whilliter Road, Lisbeallaw, all on August 8th.
The charges of attempted burglary relate to incidents at Derryvullan Road, Tamlaght, at Derrylin Road, Derrhenny, and at Derrylin Road, Derryhawlagh, Bellanaleck, all on August 12th. Kozak is also accused of an attempted burglary on the Crook Road, Corratrasna, Derrylin on August 21st.
Applying for bail, defence barrister Ciaran Roddy said Kozak had been in custody for four months now. Mr Roddy said it was clear the allegations against Kozak were “very, very serious” and said the incdients had been “cowardly attacks on people the offenders believed to be elderly and vulnerable” that seemed to follow the same modus operandi.
Mr Roddy said Kozak was not involved in the incidents, however, and noted he had not been picked out of during a police identification procedure and said there was no forensic evidence linking him to the offences.
Police opposed bail due to concerns Kozak would reoffend or would flee the jurisdiction.
District Judge Steven Keown said in his opinion there was a risk of reoffending, and refused bail.
Posted: 9:20 am January 2, 2020