'Tiger kidnapping' accused may have been robbed, court hears

The trial of two men accused of taking part in a tiger raid has heard one of the accused may have been the victim of a robbery a year earlier.

The trial of two men accused of taking part in a tiger raid has heard one of the accused may have been the victim of a robbery a year earlier.

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

They have also pleaded not guilty at Dublin Circuit Criminal Court to robbing Paul Richardson and Securicor of €2.28m 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.

On the fourth day of the trial, Mr Feargal Kavanagh SC, defending Niall Byrne, put it to Glen Kelly, rostering officer for Securicor, that Mr Byrne himself had been the victim of a robbery at an EBS bank in the previous year.

Mr Kelly said he wasn’t certain but added that “there was quite a few robberies”.

Eugene Grant, vault supervisor with Securicor, told Mr Kavanagh that the company was “averaging about 24 robberies a year” around that time.

Mr Kelly told Mr Dominic McGinn SC, prosecuting, that Niall Byrne, an employee of the company, left work early on the day the robbery took place.

He said that Mr Byrne was already out working in a van filling ATMs when he rang in sick to say he had hurt his back.

He agreed with Mr McGinn that after the day of the tiger raid Mr Byrne worked only eight days for the rest of March and April and left the company on April 26, 2005.

Sean Kelleher told Mr McGinn that he was a member of the crew working with Paul Richardson on the day of the raid.

He gave evidence that Mr Richardson was “extremely distressed” when he met him that morning and that he showed Mr Kelleher photos of his children taken by the raiders.

Mr Kelleher said: “He was beside himself. He said to me, ‘My worst nightmare has come true. They have taken my family. I’ve been given these photos to show they mean serious business. You have to help me.’

“I agreed to help him in any way I could,” he added.

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

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