Derry man charged with armed robbery

A 25-year-old man has appeared at Derry Magistrate's Court charged with an armed robbery of more than £23,000 from a local off licence.

Gareth Cullen of 9, Daly Crescent in Derry was charged with robbing the off licence of the money on February 20 this year.

He also faced a charge of possessing a firearm with intent to endanger life on the same date.

The court was told that on the morning of February 20 staff at the off licence opened the premises to receive a drinks delivery and a cash collection.

The rear doors of the premises were open while the front door was locked.

Two masked men then entered from the rear and one of them had a handgun.

They tied up the staff and waited for the security man to arrive to take the cash.

When he appeared at the front door one of the staff members was told to let him in and then a gun was put to the security man's head and he was ordered to open the safe.

The men then placed the cash in plastic bags and left the premises.

A matter of hours later a woman in the nearby Carnhill Estate saw a man in her yard who then entered her house and told her he was hiding from the police.

The description of the man matched that of one of the robbers and he left a bag and a coat in a bin and left by the front door.

After he had gone the woman found a Derry City scarf and gloves under cushions and police recovered the cash.

A police officer said that DNA on the scarf matched that of Cullen.

Deputy District judge released Cullen on his own bail of £500 on condition he has no contact with witnesses.

Cullen will appear again on November 29.