Tuesday 19 September 2017

Baby 'went 17 hours without food' during kidnapping ordeal, court hears

Jonathan Gill (35) of Malahide Road, Coolock, Dublin, arrives at the Dublin Circuit Criminal Court where he pleaded not guilty to falsely imprisoning a post office worker, his partner and their daughter in Drogheda between August 1 and 2, 2011. Pic Collins Courts.
Jonathan Gill (35) of Malahide Road, Coolock, Dublin, arrives at the Dublin Circuit Criminal Court where he pleaded not guilty to falsely imprisoning a post office worker, his partner and their daughter in Drogheda between August 1 and 2, 2011. Pic Collins Courts.

Isabel Hayes

The jury in the trial of an alleged kidnapping and robbery has heard a distressed 999 call from the victim, whose 10-week-old baby girl hadn't been fed for 17 hours.

Jean Marie Nawn could be heard sobbing down the phone as she tried to comfort her crying baby and explain to gardaí how the kidnappers had threatened to shoot her and her partner.

Jonathan Gill (35) is accused of kidnapping a postal worker, his partner and their young baby before robbing over €600,000 from the man's workplace.

It is the state's case that Mr Gill was one of a group of five who together were involved in holding the family hostage in their own home before moving them to a shed about a 90 minute drive away.

Mr Gill of Malahide Road, Swords, Dublin has pleaded not guilty at Dublin Circuit Criminal Court to falsely imprisoning Warren Nawn, Jean Marie Nawn and their baby girl in Drogheda between August 1 and August 2, 2011.

The trial has heard the Nawns were taken from their home and brought to a shed where they were held overnight. Mr Nawn was then sent to An Post in the morning to retrieve the money.

Ms Nawn told the jury she was repeatedly threatened at gunpoint during the 15-hour ordeal and said that at one stage she was beaten over the head with a gun. Afterwards the raiders left her tied to a bedpost in an abandoned house with her baby. She told the court she managed to free herself and run up the road to the nearby IBM factory in Swords.

G4S security company worker Gerard Whelan told the court today that he was working at the IBM factory and driving out to lunch around 1pm that day when he noticed a woman standing at the edge of the grounds. He said it was unusual to see anyone there as the area around the factory was mostly rural.

He said he stopped the van to see if the woman was alright before noticing she was holding a baby and had cable ties on her hands.

“She was distressed and incoherent,” Mr Whelan told the court. “...She kept saying, 'They have Warren, they have Warren'.”

Mr Whelan said the woman did not want him to ring 999 but he felt he had to. “She kept saying they were going to kill him if she told anyone. I told her I was sure he would be OK. My company has had previous experience of this activity.”

In the 999 conversation played to the jury, Mr Whelan spoke to gardaí before putting Ms Nawn on the phone. She wept as gardaí told her that her partner was safe and that an ambulance was on the way for her and her daughter. Her baby could be heard crying in the background.

Detective Garda Donal Tully told the court he arrived at the scene shortly at around 1pm and was told by Ms Nawn that the baby hadn't been fed since 8pm the previous night. She was “very, very distressed”, he said.

Det Gda Tully said he noticed Ms Nawn had “severe bruising” and marks on her upper arms and on her temple.

The trial continues before Judge Elma Sheahan and a jury of seven men and five women.

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