independent

Thursday 17 April 2014

Alcoholic grandfather doesn't fit the profile of a tiger kidnapper, barrister claims in court

The Supreme Court in Dublin
The Supreme Court in Dublin

One of four men accused of kidnapping a Securicor worker and his family is an alcoholic grandfather who does not fit the profile of a tiger kidnapper, according to his barrister.

Dubliners Christopher Corcoran (66), Mark Farrelly (42), Jason Kavanagh (39) and Alan Costello (50) are all charged with the falsely imprisoning Paul Richardson, his wife and two sons on the night of March 13 and 14, 2005.

The are also charged with charged with robbery of €2.28 million in cash from Paul Richardson and Securicor Security Services Ireland Ltd on March 14, 2005.

Mr Corcoran of Bayside Boulevard North, Sutton, Mr Farrelly of Moatview Court, Priorswood, Coolock,  Mr Kavanagh  of Corduff Avenue, Blanchardstown and Mr Costello of Cromcastle Road, Coolock have all pleaded not guilty to the five charges each.

In his closing address to the jury Patrick Marrinan SC, defending Mr Corcoran, said his client had four children and six grandchildren and is an alcoholic.

He outlined Mr Corcoran’s four previous convictions. These include a conviction for drunk driving and another for possession of an offensive weapon in 1991.

“Is this the profile of a tiger kidnapper?”, he asked.

He put it to the jury that the gang behind the robbery was a serious criminal gang and the crime was a “serious and well thought out operation”.

“Do you then use an elderly alcoholic and bring him in? If you are an elderly alcoholic do you get involved?” he asked.

He claimed that there isn't a “scintilla of evidence” that Mr Corcoran was engaged with any of other men alleged to have been part of the gang or that he profited in anyway after the crime.

He said that the evidence of another witness, Alan Drumgoole, contradicted the suggestion from the prosecution that any contact with the so-called “purple phone”, which was allegedly used by the gang in the mountains, was damning.

Counsel said that Mr Drumgoole knew this phone was involved in the robbery and told gardai it belonged to David Byrne.

Padraic Dwyer SC, defending Jason Kavanagh, told the jury that the only way to connect his client with a DNA profile on a pillow case found at the scene was through “fantasy and wild speculation”.

He said that the evidence from the Richardson family was that the big raider was wearing a balaclava and the raider who used the pillow case as a makeshift balaclava was “sweating profusely”.

He said that based on this evidence and the State's DNA evidence, there is a better chance that the pillow case was worn by a brother of the accused.

He told the jurors that the prosecution case demands that they ignore certain facts and use their imagination, adding: “the case is full of holes from start to finish”.

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

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