Escaped convict was a ‘model citizen’

A prisoner charged with carrying out a post office raid in 1996 in Cork escaped from custody and fled to England, where he became a model citizen until his recent arrest and extradition.

Det Gda Padraig Harrington said yesterday Christopher Keohane, formerly of The Crescent, Curraheen Estate, Wilton, Cork, was beaten up in jail and taken to Cork Regional Hospital. Prison officers allowed him to step out under escort for a cigarette but he fled.

Keohane, now 43, was a young man when he left Cork and he started a family in England and worked all the time he was there. Marjorie Farrelly, defending, said he was a model citizen.

Since his extradition from England last September, he has been in custody. He pleaded guilty to the charge that on November 15, 1996, at the post office on 14, Bandon Rd, he robbed £78,960. He admitted that on June 20, 1999, being a person in lawful custody at Cork prison and having been transferred to Cork Regional Hospital, did escape therefrom contrary to common law.

Judge Seán Ó Donnabháin said it was an unusual case in that Keohane had nothing to do with organising the robbery and his role was secondary to the point he ended up having no real part in the crime. He imposed an overall three-year sentence backdated to September 2015 and suspended the remainder .

Det Gda Harrington said the post office was robbed at 9am on pensions day.

Two men entered , one of whom was carrying a shotgun. Keohane was waiting around the corner and had been paid £200 to take the bag of cash from the raiders, the plan being to take it to a taxi base and on to Togher.

However, Garda Pat Enright happened to arrive on the scene, the raiders ran and never handed the cash over to Keohane. The gunman subsequently got a 12-year sentence. His accomplice was never identified.


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