A father-of-one accused of taking part in a €2.28m "tiger kidnapping" robbery was told his life was in danger after the incident, a trial has heard.
Niall Byrne (aged 29), of Crumlin Road Flats, Crumlin Road, 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 of €2,280,000.
Detective Sergeant Sean Grennan told Mr Feargal Kavanagh SC, defending Niall Byrne, that in April 2005 he told Mr Byrne, who had been arrested in connection with the robbery, that if he had any problems after his release from custody he should contact him.
He agreed that he said this “out of concern for the type of people involved in this robbery”.
He said he told Mr Byrne that “these people were very dangerous and could shoot him”.
The trial previously heard on the morning of April 27, 2005 Niall Byrne and his partner Jennifer Coleman, were arrested during a search of an apartment at Lansdowne Valley, Drimnagh.
Detective Inspector Paul Scott told Mr Kavanagh that after Mr Byrne had been “cautioned about the activity of these people”, a Peugeot car belonging to Ms Coleman was burnt out outside the Lansdowne Valley apartment.
The court heard that Mr Byrne declined the offer of a place on the Garda witness protection programme, which would give him the chance to have a “new life”.
Det Insp Scott told Mr Dominic McGinn SC, prosecuting, that there were “very serious downsides” to joining the programme.
He said: “You can never return to this jurisdiction. You are away from your family permanently. It can be a very difficult existence.”
He said that criminals who give evidence against their “criminal partners” become an “immediate target”.
The other accused in the trial David Byrne (aged 39), of Old Brazeel Way, Knocksedan, Swords, Co Dublin has also pleaded not guilty to the same charges.
Both men are alleged to have been members of a gang that held a Securicor worker and his family hostage as part of the raid in March 2005.
In other evidence Det Insp Scott agreed that at least five employees of Securicor had previous convictions and one former employee had been charged in relation to “setting up a robbery”.
The trial continues before Judge Patrick McCartan and a jury of seven men and five women.