Driver had to stop van in tears as family held in tiger kidnap

A CASH-IN-TRANSIT driver whose family were held hostage during a tiger kidnapping six years ago has told a trial that he could not drive his van during the incident because he was crying so much.

David Byrne, aged 39, of Old Brazeel Way, Knocksedan, Swords, Co Dublin, and Niall Byrne, aged 29, of Crumlin Road Flats, Crumlin Rd, Dublin, have both pleaded not guilty at Dublin Circuit Criminal Court to falsely imprisoning the Richardson family at Ashcroft, Raheny, Dublin, on March 13 and 14, 2005, and one count of robbery.

They also pleaded not guilty to robbing Paul Richardson and Securicor of €2.28 million on the same date.

Both men are alleged to have been members of a gang that held Mr Richardson, a Securicor worker, and his family hostage as part of a raid in March 2005.

The trial already heard that while Mrs Richardson and her sons were being held overnight in the Dublin Mountains, Mr Richardson was told to go to work as normal and collect a van “loaded with cash”.

After dropping off the cash, he had been told to continue driving west out of the city until he got a phone call to say his family had been freed.

On the third day of the trial, Mr Richardson told defence counsel for Niall Byrne, Feargal Kavanagh, that he had to stop the van before he had heard from the kidnappers because he could not see the road.

“There were so many tears in my eyes I couldn’t see the road properly,” Mr Richardson said. “I became very unwell, with pains in my chest. I stopped the van. I couldn’t go any further.”

The court was told Mr Richardson pulled the van over on the N4 near Kinnegad when his colleagues insisted on raising the alarm.

Richard Lynch, a consultant in emergency medicine with the Midlands Regional Hospital, told of treating Mr Richardson and said he was in “a state of severe shock”.

He agreed with Dominic McGinn, prosecuting, that the victim was “frightened that his captors might come after him” in the hospital. Mr Lynch said: “I’ve never met anyone who’s been so frightened in all my life.”

Mr Richardson said gardaí did not allow him and his family to return home for a fortnight after the kidnapping. He said: “I was kept in a safe spot for two weeks. We moved from one place to another.

“We were all questioned. Gardaí told us that everyone is a suspect.”

The trial continues before Judge Patrick McCartan and a jury.

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