Warren denies starring role in cash-in-transit heist, court hears02/11/2012 - 17:05:57
A man has told a jury that he was told by Eamonn Dunne that if he didn’t cut open a cash-in-transit van with a consaw he would be “on top of Marlo”.
Joseph Warren (aged 30) said that his frame of mind in the days leading up to the raid, after being told by Dunne to source a working concrete-saw, was: “Just to keep him happy.”
“I did not want to be going in on top of Marlo or that young lad, Anthony Campbell or Baiba Saulite. I think he was arrested for killing Baiba Saulite,” the accused said.
He was giving evidence on the fifth anniversary of an attempted raid on a cash-in-transit van in Cellbridge, which was intercepted by gardaí. Five other men were arrested afterwards including Dunne, brothers Alan and Wayne Bradley, Jeffrey Morrow and Michael Ryan.
Mr Warren claimed that he was in fear of Dunne and was told by him to source a consaw in order to pay off a debt he owed after buying a Skoda Octavia from Dunne on credit.
He told his counsel Ciaran O’Loughlin SC that he was told by Dunne that if he did as instructed, his debt, and other gambling debts he had run up, would be paid off and if he didn’t he was going to be killed.
He said he had no idea of what Dunne was planning when he asked him to source the consaw and was not told until minutes before the raid what his role was.
Mr Warren of Belclare Crescent, Ballymun has pleaded not guilty at Dublin Circuit Criminal Court to conspiring to steal cash from Chubb Ireland at Tesco supermarket on the Shackleton Road in Celbridge on November 2, 2007.
The accused did not accept a suggestion from Deirdre Murphy SC, prosecuting, that he was not “a victim” as he has suggested to the jury but instead “a willing, active, star participant in this attempted heist”.
He further rejected a suggestion that he was an associate of Dunne before, after and during the offence and having been well trained in the army; he had swapped one occupation for another.
When asked by Ms Murphy if Dunne was “very bright”, Mr Warren replied “He was an evil man.”
“He must have been bright, he got away with 20 murders from what I have read about him,” Mr Warren continued.
“Is Alan Bradley a bright man?” Ms Murphy asked “because if the story you are telling this jury is true they (Dunne and Mr Bradley) must have been a criminal version of Dumb and Dumber, as thick as two short planks.”
She said the evidence in the trial suggested that these two men went to a lot of trouble in organising this raid and suggested to Mr Warren it would be stupid to then send him in to cut open a jeep with a consaw in a crowed public carpark on a Friday morning.
Ms Murphy pointed out to Mr Warren that a map of the general area shows that there is a garda station directly opposite the carpark in Tesco.
Counsel suggested to Mr Warren that they had keys to open the jeep and it was his job to use the consaw to cut open the safe in the back of the jeep.
She said they had the keys for a different Chubb jeep and Mr Warren realised this when Michael Ryan could not open it and suggested to the accused that he then “withdrew”.
Ms Murphy said that when Dunne was murdered in April 2010, Mr Warren told people he was grieving for his friend.
“You later thought ‘Dunne might give me a little help from beyond the grave. I know I’ll blame Eamon’,” Ms Murphy suggested to the accused.
“So you go through the book of evidence and see mention of an off-camera interview when a garda asks you did you get involved because you were in fear and you say, ‘I know, I was in fear’,” counsel continued.
Mr Warren did not accept this suggestion and insisted that he was there to do as instructed because otherwise he would be killed.
Mr Warren told Mr O’Loughlin that just before he arrived into Cellbridge he met with Alan Bradley and Dunne was told to “cut the jeep open and get Chino (Michael Ryan) into it”.
“He told me if I make a bollix of it, he would send me to God’s house, I would be on top of Marlo. That was his claim to fame because Marlo was such a criminal,” Mr Warren said.
He said they had been following the jeep all morning and Dunne told him the next time the jeep stopped they were to pull in behind it and he was to cut it open with the consaw.
Mr Warren told the jury that when he got into the Tesco carpark he took the consaw out of the boot of the car, started it running and walked towards the jeep.
He said Chino could not open it with keys he had and he said he would have had no difficulty cutting it open.
“I just felt it was wrong. I bottled it. I panicked. I turned the consaw off. I thought this is madness, this is suicidal. The noise of the consaw alone, in a public car park,” Mr Warren said.
He told the jury he came to his senses, and walked back towards the car and was standing there when gardaí moved into arrest him.
The trial continues before Judge Patrick McCartan and a jury of five women and seven men.
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