Man pointed fake firearm at delivery driver in foiled kidnap attempt

A Pakistani takeaway delivery driver was shocked when he arrived at his destination to find a man standing beside the open boot of a car wearing a balaclava and pointing a gun at him.

Kieran Delaney, Gurteen, Ballybrit, Roscrea, Co Offaly, pleaded guilty to having an imitation firearm to commit false imprisonment, damaging a car and stealing it.

Judge Seán Ó Donnabháin noted the absence of convictions before or since this incident and imposed a totally suspended jail term of five years.

Garda Gary Costello said Rana Zahid Habib got a call for takeaway food to a parked car on the Limerick Road outside Charleville.

As he arrived, he noticed the car had its flashers on and the book was open. A man went to the boot and returned wearing a balaclava and pointing what appeared to be a handgun.

The delivery man drove away. After about 1km, he decided to do a U-turn and drive back towards Charleville. The other car was driving against him and it crashed into his car head-on. He jumped out and ran away with Delaney and another man running after him.

However, they gave up the chase and went to drive away. Their own car was not in a drivable condition so they took the injured party’s car and drove away.

Delaney had decided to assist a friend who told him he was owed €7,000. The plan was to kidnap the injured party and demand a €7,000 ransom from his brother.

The man who came up with the plan is still at large. The probation report described Delaney as “bewilderingly naive”.

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