Man on ‘AIDS needle’ charge

Blackpool Magistrates' Court
Blackpool Magistrates' Court

A man accused of going into a shop masked in a balaclava and threatening the owners with what he said was an AIDS-infected hypodermic syringe and needle has made his first appearance at court.

Joseph O’Donohue is alleged to have been wearing socks on his hands when he entered The Art Shop store and newsagents on The Crescent, St Annes, and demanded cash and tobacco from the store owners, a married couple in their 60s.

O’Donohue, a 46-year-old window cleaner, formerly of Canberra Way, Warton, now living at Boston Road, St Annes, is charged with attempting robbery. The offence is said to have taken place about 6am on February 22 this year.

Pam Smith, prosecuting, asked for the case to be heard at crown court.

Defence lawyer, Mitch Sarangi, said his client would not enter a plea to the offence at this stage and a bail application for O’Donohue would be made before a judge at crown court. O’Donohue was remanded in custody to appear at Preston Crown Court on August 13 by Blackpool magistrates.