Burglary accused says he only went into hotel as it was 'freezing cold' outside

A man accused of burglary at a Cork city hotel said he only went in because it was freezing.

Tony O’Connell, 34, who lives at hostel accommodation in Cork, said he spotted a couch when he was there and he lay down on it. He said he might have eaten a few protein bars when he was there but had money to pay for them.

Detective Garda Anne Flynn said gardaí objected to bail because she said they believed that he would commit further offences if granted bail.

He was charged with trespassing at Club Vitae, Clayton Hotel, Lapps Quay, Cork, on December 5 to commit theft of health bars, wet bag and flip-flops. Detective Garda Anne Flynn arrested Tony O’Connell and charged him with the burglary on Wednesday night. When cautioned he made no comment.

Det Garda Flynn said there was strong evidence in support of the charge against the accused. She said he was discovered on the premises in an office of the hotel. It was alleged that damage was done to lockers in the leisure area and that he had eaten some health bars. It was further alleged that he had property from the locker room area in the office where he was caught.

Eddie Burke, solicitor, said the accused was not on any narcotics at the time but was under the influence of alcohol. He co-operated fully with the investigation, Mr Burke said.

Sergeant Gearóid Davis put it to the accused: “My main concern is that if you are granted bail you are going to commit further offences.” O’Connell replied: “This was a once-off. I could not get anyone (to arrange hostel accommodation). It was freezing cold. I lay down on the couch.”

He added that he might have eaten protein bars that were there.

Sgt Davis said he accepted it was a cold night but he said the state had a concern about offences of this kind.

Judge Olann Kelleher refused bail and remanded the accused in custody for seven days, until December 13.

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