Man remanded in custody on charge relating to hijacking of SUV at airport


A MAN charged with hijacking an SUV at Cork Airport on Sunday last, has been remanded in custody after he appeared in court yesterday in connection with the incident.

Edmond Stapleton (37), a native of Dublin Hill in Cork city but currently of no fixed abode, was brought before Cork District Court yesterday amid tight security involving up to 12 gardaí including armed members of the Regional Support Unit.

Mr Stapleton was charged with two offences arising out of the incident including that he took a Garda Traffic Corps SUV at Patrick Street on May 22nd, 2011, without the consent of An Garda Síochána.

He was also charged with a second offence of hijacking a Cork Airport fire service SUV on the same day by seizing the vehicle after threatening two members of the airport police, John McCarthy and Michael Delaney, when armed with a knife.

Mr Stapleton, who had a cut over the right eye, was brought across the court car park at Cork District Court for his court appearance. “I’m bruised but I’m not broken,” he shouted as he was escorted into court by gardaí.

Garda John McSweeney gave evidence of arrest, charge and caution and told the court that Mr Stapleton replied, “I understand exactly what you are saying” to the stealing charge and “I understand completely” to the hijacking charge.

Insp Michael Maguire said gardaí were seeking a remand in custody for a week for the DPP’s directions and Mr Stapleton’s solicitor, Frank Buttimer, said his client was consenting and would not be making any application for bail.

Mr Buttimer also asked Judge David Riordan to convey to the governor of Cork Prison that Mr Stapleton had certain medical needs and that all necessary medical treatment should be made available to him.

Mr Buttimer also applied for free legal aid, saying his client was unemployed and had no assets or property. The judge granted him free legal aid before remanding Mr Stapleton in custody to appear again at Cork District Court on May 30th.

Mr Stapleton spoke only to tell the judge that he had difficulty hearing Garda McSweeney give evidence of arrest, charge and caution. “Your Honour, I can’t hear anything that’s being said about me – it’s me that’s being spoken about,” he said before thanking the judge for repeating the evidence to him.

The judge also remanded Mr Stapleton in custody to appear at Naas Circuit Criminal Court next Tuesday after Garda McSweeney gave evidence of executing a warrant for Mr Stapleton’s arrest in relation to drugs offences in Co Kildare.