Tiger kidnap accused 'paid €10k in cash for car'

A man accused of taking part in a €2.28m tiger raid five years ago paid €10,000 in cash for a car a month after the robbery, a court has heard.

A man accused of taking part in a €2.28m tiger raid five years ago paid €10,000 in cash for a car a month after the robbery, a court has heard.

Niall Byrne (aged 29), of Crumlin Road Flats, Crumlin Rd, Dublin has 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 to robbing Paul Richardson and Securicor on the same date.

His co-accused, David Byrne (aged 39), of Old Brazeel Way, Knocksedan, Swords, Co Dublin, has pleaded not guilty to the same charges.

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 fifth day of the trial Seamus Brennan from Carlow described how Niall Byrne telephoned him on April 13 about buying Mr Brennan’s imported BMW which he had put up for sale.

After taking the car for a test drive the two men agreed a price of €12,500.

A few days later Mr Byrne travelled back to Carlow and brought €10,000 in cash.

Mr Byrne told Mr Brennan he would have the rest of the agreed price once he had sold his own car and that he could come back for the BMW then.

Mr Brennan told Mr Seamus Clark BL, prosecuting, that he decided to take Mr Byrne “at his word” and agreed to hand over the car for the cash and the promise of the remaining payment.

The court heard that the money was in cash in a handleless white plastic bag and was made up of €50 notes in one single bundle.

Mr Byrne explained that he taken out a Bank of Ireland loan.

Mr Brennan told the court that he never got the remaining €2,500 owed to him.

He told Mr Feargal Kavanagh SC, defending Niall Byrne, that he didn't know that Mr Byrne had lost his job with Securicor within a week of buying the car.

Mr Thomas Finnegan told Mr Clark that he was working with Niall Byrne in a Securicor van on the day of the robbery when Mr Byrne said he had hurt his back lifting a cash box and asked go off sick.

He told Mr Clark that he believed at the time that Niall Byrne was “stroking” and simply didn't want to finish his shift.

Mr Finnegan said: “He said he was in pain with his back. I thought he might have been stroking. He didn't want to do the run”.

The witness agreed with Mr Kavanagh that back injuries did occur from time to time in the company when staff were lifting a cash box.

Mr Finnegan also agreed that Mr Byrne didn't look stressed or worried on the day and that he was “acting the same as usual”.

The court heard that Mr Finnegan told gardaí he was surprised that Mr Byrne had been arrested in relation to the robbery.

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

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