Fingerprint expert testifies at 'tiger kidnapping' case

A garda fingerprint expert has said he couldn’t identify some marks found at the house where armed raiders took a family hostage in the €2.28 million "tiger kidnapping" four years ago.

A garda fingerprint expert has said he could not identify some marks found at the house where armed raiders took a family hostage in the €2.28m "tiger kidnapping" four years ago.

Detective Garda John Grant of the Garda Technical Bureau revealed that 58 of the 87 finger marks found at the Ashcroft home in Raheny belonged to the Richardson family and 19 marks were unidentified.

He told Mr Dominic McGinn BL, prosecuting in Dublin Circuit Criminal Court, that he treated items from all over the house, like drinks bottles, newspapers, magazines and Polaroid camera film for fingerprints, which he explained can be retained on most smooth surfaces.

Det Gda Grant agreed with Mr Shane Costelloe, defending Mr Jason Kavanagh, that no fingerprints found at the scene matched those of his client.

Mr Kavanagh (aged 34), of Parslickstown Court, Ladyswell; David Byrne (aged 36) of Old Brazeel Way, Knocksedan, Swords; Niall Byrne (aged 27), of Aughavanagh Road, Crumlin; Mark Farrelly (aged 37), of Moatview Court, Priorswood; Christopher Corcoran (aged 61) and of Bayside Boulevard North, Sutton have all pleaded not guilty to falsely imprisoning the Richardson family on March 13 and 14, 2005.

They have also pleaded not guilty to robbing Mr Paul Richardson and Securicor on the same date

Det Gda Grant told Mr McGinn that he took finger and palm prints from the Richardsons as well as from some of their friends and neighbours.

Detective Garda Geraldine Doherty, formerly of the Garda Ballistics Division, told Mr McGinn that she removed items such as eaten food remains, tissues, fire ashes and the pillow case used as a balaclava by one of the raiders and sent them for forensic testing.

She said she also took swabs from other items like glasses, cups, the toilet and household furniture.

The trial continues before Judge Tony Hunt and a jury of seven men and five women.

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