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Sunday 21 September 2014

Masked raider with sawn-off shot gun 'threatened to blow off head of cash-in-transit driver', court hears

Published 16/07/2014 | 18:37

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The Four Courts, Dublin

A CASH-in-transit driver told the High Court how he was confronted by a masked raider with a sawn-off shot gun who threatened to blow his head off as he collected a box of cash from a credit union.

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Michael McGrath (34) said he thought he was going to be killed and was "pretty frightened" when he was ambushed outside Finglas Credit Union Iin Dublin on January 12, 2012.

Mr McGrath, St Mary's Road, East Wall, Dublin, has brought an action for damages against his employer, Senaca Tech Ltd. He has claimed he was shocked and distressed by the robbery and now suffers from an anxiety disorder.

He has claimed there was  no variation in the pick up times from  the credit union and that the collection run  had been reduced from a two man to a one man operation. He further alleges a panic button in the transit van was not working on the day of the robbery.

Ms Justice Mary Irvine was told  building works were taking place at the credit union and a forklift was parked on the driveway when the cash in transit van pulled up.

Mr McGrath told the court building materials were being unloaded and he had to pull up his van and walk back to the credit union door, which he would normally have driven up to.

Mr McGrath sued  Senaca Tech, with offices at Tougher Business Park, Ladyswell, Naas, Co Kildare, claiming there was a failure to vary the times at which the cash collection took place and that there was a failure to carry out any risk assessment.

Senaca Tech denies the claims and say Mr McGrath did not report any faults with his vehicle on the day.

It contends when  Mr McGrath  failed to adhere to his training and  failed to identify the builder's vehicle allegedly blocking access to the credit union was a potential risk.

Mr McGrath told the court he collected the box of cash and was jogging back to the van when one of the builders shouted watch your back.

"I turned around. It is like it was in slow motion.The man was pointing the gun at me and a  said he would blow my head off and I was to drop the box . He said he was going to kill me he was screaming it. I dropped the box.", he said.

The raider was wearing a hat and had a scarf over his face and appeared to be agitated.

"I never felt so powerless in all my life. I was shaking."

He ran to his van and pressed the panic alarm a few times but he said there was no response and he had to use his mobile phone to get help.

Mr McGrath said if there had been a second man in the van he could have sounded an alarm or alerted him to stay in the credit union if he saw anything suspicious.

The case continues.

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