Second man jailed for botched armed robbery

A second man has been jailed for a botched armed robbery where the raiders had to be rescued by the fire brigade after they had been locked in by an accomplice.

Ian Jordan (aged 33) was one of the men trapped inside the gold storage business with two staff members who had been bound and gagged during the raid.

His accomplice, Aidan Murphy (aged 32) of Stag Park Avenue, Mitchelstown, Cork was jailed for five years last year for his role in the raid.

Gary Byrne (aged 30) of Edenmore Crescent, Raheny was found guilty last week of taking part in the raid. Byrne fled in the middle of the attempted robbery, leaving his two accomplices locked in. He is to be sentenced next month.

Jordan of Belclare Grove, Ballymun pleaded guilty at Dublin Circuit Criminal Court to attempted robbery and possession of ammunition at the Bullion Room, Bolton Street, Dublin on August 10, 2010.

The court heard Jordan was a cocaine addict and was pressured into taking part because he had a €30,000 drug debt.

Judge Martin Nolan said it was a planned operation and “not a spur of the moment idea”. He noted Jordan’s co-operation with gardai and his efforts to get drug free before jailing him for five years.

Defence counsel, Mr John O’Kelly SC, said Jordan was under threat from drug dealers because he had lost a consignment of drugs he was storing for them.

Jordan’s house had been badly vandalised just before the raid. He has 17 previous convictions including one for storing cannabis for someone else.

Counsel said Jordan was a skilled carpenter with three children. He submitted that his client co-operated with gardai and entered an early guilty plea.

On a previous date, Garda David Brennan told prosecuting counsel, Mr Vincent Heneghan BL, that the Bullion Room had an elaborate security system. It took two people with separate keys to open the safe and a password had to be phoned through to a security company before the vault would open.

On the morning of the incident, a female member of staff and a security guard were opening the shutters on the outside of the store. Murphy, Jordan and Byrne, all dressed as builders, came up behind them and forced them inside at gunpoint.

Murphy pointed the gun at the female and demanded one of the keys. He then made her phone in the password, telling her: “Make sure it’s the right one or I’ll fucking kill you.”

They then tied up both staff with cable ties and put duct tape on their mouths. Murphy couldn’t find the other key required to open the safe.

This was because Byrne had already fled, taking the keys and locking the shutters behind him.

When Murphy and Jordan realised they were locked in and couldn’t access the safe they started “frantically searching for a way out”.

They tried to escape through the ceiling tiles and to knock a hole in a wall using hammers, all to no avail. Gardai had been alerted by then and the raiders could hear their radios through the shutters.

The fire brigade were called and had to cut a hole in the shutter to free those inside where the men were immediately arrested.

The female member of staff pointed out to gardai where they had hidden the gun in the ceiling tiles. It was found to be an imitation.

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