Tiger-kidnap victim 'could not drive with tears' while family was held

A cash-in-transit driver whose family were held hostage during a tiger-kidnapping six years ago has told a trial that he couldn't drive his van during the incident because he was crying so much.

A cash-in-transit driver whose family were held hostage during a tiger-kidnapping six years ago has told a trial that he couldn't 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, north Dublin city on March 13 and 14, 2005 and one count of robbery.

They have also pleaded not guilty to robbing Paul Richardson and Securicor of €2,280,000 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 has already heard that while Mrs Richardson and her sons were being held overnight in the Dublin Mountains, Paul Richardson was told to go to work as normal and collect a van "loaded with cash".

After dropping off the cash Mr Richardson 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, Mr Feargal Kavanagh SC that he had to stop van before he had heard from the kidnappers because he couldn’t see the road.

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

The court that Mr Richardson had pulled the van over on the N4 near Kinnegad and at this point his colleagues insisted on raising the alarm.

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

He agreed with Mr Dominic McGinn SC, 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”.

In other evidence Mr Richardson said that gardaí didn’t allow him and his family to return to his 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. Gardai told us that everyone is a suspect.”

The trial continues before Judge Patrick McCartan and a jury of seven men and five women.

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