A MAN has been convicted of conspiring with Eamonn Dunne and four other criminals to raid a cash-in-transit van five years ago.
Joseph Warren (30) had pleaded not guilty to conspiring to steal cash from Chubb Ireland at Tesco supermarket in Celbridge, Kildare on November 2, 2007.
It was day 16 of the trial at Dublin Circuit Criminal Court.
The jury of five women and seven men had spent just under three hours considering the verdict before they unanimously found Warren guilty.
Judge Patrick McCartan thanked the jurors for their service before he revoked Warren’s bail and remanded him in custody.
He adjourned the case to next week when he will also hear evidence of a firearm offence that Warren has pleaded guilty to and which was committed while he was on bail for the attempted heist.
Last March a jury were discharged by Judge Tony Hunt after it failed to reach a verdict in the case.
Warren, of Belclare Crescent, Ballymun, claimed during the trial that he was under duress from Eamonn Dunne to get involved in the raid.
He said he got a Skoda Octavia from Dunne “on tick” and when he was slow to pay back the debt Dunne told him he had no option but to get involved in this raid.
Warren claimed Dunne told him he would “be on top of Marlo” and “be sent to God’s house” if he didn’t do as instructed.
He said he knew at that time that Dunne was a gangster and “was a very, very serious man”. He said it was in the newspapers that Dunne had killed another criminal, Martin “Marlo” Hyland and was responsible for “20 murders”.
Mr Warren said that his frame of mind in the days leading up to the raid, after being told by Dunne to source a working consaw, was ““Just to keep him happy.”
“I did not want to be going in on top of Marlo or that young lad, Campbell or Baiba Saulite. I think he was arrested for killing Baiba Saulite,” the accused said.
Mr Warren did not accept a suggestion from Deirdre Murphy SC, prosecuting, that he was not “a victim” as he had 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.
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.
Five other men have been convicted and sentenced for their roles in the offence.
Darryl Caffrey, (37) of Cherry Park, Rivervalley, Swords, an employee of the security company Chubb, who was considered the inside man and gave evidence in the opening days of this trial, was sentenced to three years with the last year suspended.
He pleaded guilty to enhancing the ability of a criminal organisation to commit or facilitate a theft of cash from a vehicle by providing information concerning the operation of the business of Chubb Ireland.
Michael Ryan (38) of Carton Drive, Poppintree and Jeffrey Morrow (30) of Hazlecroft Road, Finglas who pleaded guilty to the same offence as Warren were sentenced to five years with one suspended and six years, respectively.
Brothers Alan Bradley (38) of Churchfields Road, Kentstown, Co Meath and Wayne Bradley (33) of Rathroad Road, Finglas were sentenced to nine years with two suspended and seven years with 18 months suspended respectively after they pleaded guilty to the same offence.
Eamonn Dunne (34) of Dunsoughly Drive, Rathoath Road, Finglas, was facing the same charge when he was shot dead in April 2010.
The jury heard that gardai mounted a surveillance operation on Warren, Ryan, Morrow, Dunne and Alan and Wayne Bradley who gathered in four vehicles at 6 am in Ballymun.
The vehicles travelled in convoy to near the Chubb Ireland headquarters and from there followed a cash-in-transit van, a wine coloured Nissan Patrol, to Celbridge.
The Nissan Patrol arrived at Tesco in Celbridge just before 10 am and the driver got out to deliver the cash.
Warren and Ryan approached the van but failed in their attempt to open the door. Warren was carrying a consaw while Ryan had a set of keys.
At this point gardai intervened and Ryan dropped the keys. The keys were later found to open four Chubb vans but not the one they were approaching.
Warren had returned to his vehicle and had put the consaw into the boot before gardai moved in.
He was walking away from the carpark when gardai arrested him. Dunne, Morrow and the Bradleys were also arrested nearby.
Warren told the jury his role on the day was to source a consaw and was told minutes before the raid to use the tool to cut open the Nissan Patrol, to allow Ryan access to the vehicle and to walk away.
He said he later “bottled it” because he thought the job was “suicidal”.
“I thought it was ludicrous, madness, in a full carpark, in full view of everyone,” Warren said before he added that if he had used the consaw it would have drawn attention to them.
The jury also heard that picture messages depicting two women, one wearing underwear, the other nothing at all, were sent from Warren’s phone to Dunne’s phone, while Warren was sitting in his car outside the Chubb base.
The jury was shown nine photographs of Dunne’s funeral which depicted Warren acting as pallbearer on the left of the coffin, with Wayne and Alan Bradley carrying the casket at the front.
The photographs also showed Warren embracing Eamonn Dunne’s father as the coffin was placed in the hearse.