€2.28m 'tiger' kidnapping trial enters final stages

A jury have been told the evidence against four men accused of carrying out the 'tiger' kidnapping of a Securicor worker and his family is circumstantial but combines to leave no room for reasonable doubt as to their guilt.

Jason Kavanagh (aged 39) of Corduff Avenue, Blanchardstown, Dublin, Christopher Corcoran (aged 66) of Bayside Boulevard North, Sutton, Dublin Mark Farrelly (aged 42) of Moatview Court, Priorswood, Coolock, Dublin and Alan Costello aged (50) of Cromcastle Road, Coolock pleaded not guilty at Dublin Circuit Criminal Court to five charges each.

They are accused of falsely imprisoning Paul Richardson at Ashcroft, Raheny, Dublin on the night of March 13 and 14, 2005 and of falsely imprisoning Marie, Ian and Kevin Richardson on the same dates.

The four accused are also charged with robbery of €2.28m in cash from Paul Richardson and Securicor Security Services Ireland Ltd.

Mrs Richardson and her sons were held overnight at gunpoint in the Dublin mountains while Mr Richardson was forced to go to work and deliver the cash to a drop off point.

In his closing speech to the jury Dominic McGinn SC outlined the State's case against each of the accused.

He described the State's evidence as links and networks which on their own would be no more than a coincidence but which combine together to give rise to a conclusion of guilt.

He said that the robbery was carefully planned and professionally carried out. There were no fingerprints or no useful fibres found because the gang wore gloves and boiler suits.

But he said that despite this professionalism, the gang made a few mistakes and one of these was their use of mobile telephones. He said analysis of mobile calls made in the mountains on the night revealed only two numbers and that these had to be used in the robbery.

He said that Gardaí then looked at all other calls made by these two numbers. They established a network of nine numbers in contact with each other around the time of the robbery and concluded the timing and location of calls from these numbers coincides with the evidence of the robbery.

He said that Mark Farrelly was at the top of the command structure and was controlling the other phones using the “grey phone”. He said the grey phone rang Mark Farrelly’s father and wife Eileen on the night of the robbery.

He said that Jason Kavanagh could be linked to the green phone and that there was evidence that DNA found on a pillowcase at the house matched DNA found on a cap from a water bottle used by Mr Kavanagh.

Mr McGinn said his physical appearance also matched the description of a large overweight man who had been heard snoring upstairs by Paul Richardson while he was held overnight in his home.

He said Mr Corcoran was in a scout vehicle which travelled ahead of the jeep taking the family to the Dublin mountains.

It is the State’s case that Alan Costello was the driver of the jeep. His number was part of the network of phones because it was linked to the purple phone that was traced from the Dublin mountains, counsel said.

The trial continues before Judge Martin Nolan and a jury of eight men and three women.

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