Boy wins ‘tiger’ kidnap damages

Stephen Smith's parents Stewart and Elaine, who were on holiday at the time of the kidnap. Picture: Courts Collins

An schoolboy, who was held hostage during a violent ‘tiger’ kidnapping five years ago, was yesterday awarded damages of €17,250 in the Circuit Civil Court against Bank of Ireland.

Barrister Justin McQuade told Circuit Court President, Mr Justice Raymond Groarke, that Stephen Smith, 11, was only five when kidnapped by armed criminals who stole almost €8m from the bank’s branch at College Green, Dublin, on February 26, 2009.

Mr McQuade said the boy had been staying with his aunt Stephanie. She and her then partner, Bank of Ireland employee Shane Travers were living with Stephen’s grandparents Kevin and Joan Smith at Stone Bridge House, Kill, Co Kildare.

The court heard that Stephanie and her mother, Joan were returning from a night out when a gang of men forced their way into their home. Mr Travers had been inside babysitting Stephen.

The house’s occupants were beaten, tied and threatened. The next day, the family were bundled into a van and remained there until the driver learned that Mr Travers and the gang had successfully entered the bank.

Mr McQuade said the gang then left and the family were picked up by a passer-by. Mr McQuade said Stephen had later developed PTSD. The claim was that the bank had a duty of care to co-habitees of a bank worker.


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