A man who through financial difficulties was at the beck and call of a violent gang, drove armed and masked men on a raid during which they subjected two elderly sisters and their bachelor brother to what was described as a barbaric attack at their isolated rural home, a court heard.
William Gammell, aged 29, of Monard, Co Tipperary, pleaded guilty at Limerick Circuit Court yesterday to aggravated burglary.
The court was told he picked up two, unnamed, violent gang members before the raid at Ballyluddy, Pallsagreen, on May 31, 2012, and collected them afterwards.
During the attack, Willie Creed, 74, and his sisters Chrissie, 72, and Nora, 68, were tied up and terrorised over several hours. Detective Garda Michael Reidy said in evidence: “I can only describe it as barbaric.”
He told the court Gammell was also involved in another violent burglary in the area on April 16, 2012, when armed and masked men burst into the Pallsagreeen home of Gerry and Ann Garvey and their young children.
Det Garda Reidy said Gammell collected gang members after that raid in which the Garveys and their children were terrorised.
He said Gammell came in contact with a criminal group known as the ‘XY Gang’ after they gave him possession of a Volkswagon jeep stolen from a garage repair centre in Mallow.
Det Garda Reidy said: “These three, elderly sisters and their brother, lived a primitive lifestyle within the confines of the Pallasgreen area, and were subjected to extreme violence at the time.
“Gammell knew what they [gang members] were up to and would have an inkling and there would have been a reference that ‘a job was on’ that night.”
He said the Creeds lived about a mile from the Garvey family, who were also attacked by the gang.
CCTV harvested in the Pallasgreen area connected Gammell to the vehicle used in the raid. When arrested, Gammell was forthcoming and made admissions.
In reply to Mark Nicholas, defending, Det Garda Reidy said Gammell came from a respected family, whose plant hire business had got into difficulties.
He said the ‘XY Gang’, were behind the aggravated burglaries, and Gammell — who was in financial difficulties — was at their beck and call after being given the jeep stolen in Mallow.
It was stated by the defence that Gammell had been poisoned by a gang who got into him, and then into the community, and what he had got involved in would never be forgotten, and he would forever be known for these acts.
Judge Carroll Moran adjourned sentencing to July 29 and remanded Gammell in custody.
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