11/07/2012 04:41 EST | Updated 01/07/2013 05:12 EST

Man charged with bank robberies granted bail

The young man who claims he was forced to commit three bank robberies on Montreal's West Island was granted bail by a judge who heard his emotional testimony on Tuesday.

Irving Fosu, from Dollard-des-Ormeaux, on Montreal's West Island, burst into tears at the Montreal courthouse when the judge announced his decision.

Judge Jean-Pierre Boyer said the charges, including taking hostage a total of seven bank employees, are very serious.

The judge ordered Fosu to report to police twice a week, but he also said releasing the young man is reasonable.

During today's court appearance, Boyer turned to the 19-year-old and told him his father, Emmanuel Fosu, was ready to put the family's house on the line to guarantee he would respect his bail conditions.

The case will return to court in December.

Fosu told the court on Tuesday a drug-dealing friend had pushed him to commit the crimes.