Friday 20 October 2017

Raiders 'threatened to blow heads off mum and her baby'

Jonathan Gill Pic: Courtpix
Jonathan Gill Pic: Courtpix

Conor Gallagher

A woman has told a jury that raiders threatened to "blow the heads off" her and her 10-week-old baby unless her partner followed orders to take more than €600,000 from his workplace.

Jean Maire Nawn said one of the men also told her she would have to try for another baby.

Mrs Nawn described how 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.

It is the State's case that Jonathan Gill (35) - pictured inset - was one of a group of five who were involved in holding the family hostage in their own Co Louth home before moving them to a shed on a farmyard in Swords.

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 in Drogheda between August 1 and August 2, 2011.

Mrs Nawn told Vincent Heneghan SC, prosecuting, that she was in the living room with the baby late on the Monday evening when Mr Nawn opened the door to an armed man who had his face covered.

Two men entered the house and tied the couple up. One of them asked Mrs Nawn what she was watching on television.

When she replied that it was a Liverpool match, he shouted "don't f**king lie to me".

He also told her: "I'll blow your f**king head off, I'll shoot you." He said she would also be shot if anyone called at the door.

Mrs Nawn said she heard one of the raiders try to make a phone call and say: "There's no signal, maybe they're coming over the Border."

She heard one of them tell Mr Nawn: "You better comply or we'll blow your girlfriend's and your baby's head off."

She said another told her she and Mr Nawn would have to try for another baby.

Mrs Nawn said other raiders arrived and that one of them seemed older and had a husky voice. She said he was nicer than the others.

The men put her and the baby in a car with a blanket over her head. She saw them wipe down the handles in the house and use furniture polish before they left.

They drove for about 90 minutes. During this time the baby started crying and a raider said "shut that f**king baby up". They cut the ties on Mrs Nawn's hands so she could comfort the child. She said that during the journey she could hear Mr Nawn in the boot struggling to breathe.

The family were held overnight before Mr Nawn was sent to An Post in the morning to get the money. Mrs Nawn told him to do whatever they asked. He replied that he cared only about their safety.

She and the baby were left with two of the raiders. At one stage she was told to ring Mr Nawn's manager and tell him to comply with the directions and that they were being held at gunpoint. It was then that she was beaten with the gun.

In the early afternoon she was tied loosely to a cast iron bed frame in a derelict house with the baby beside her. She waited for 15 minutes before freeing herself and fled. Mrs Nawn then ran up the road to the IBM factory in Swords where she was picked up by gardaí.

The trial continues before Judge Elma Sheahan. It is expected to last four weeks.

Irish Independent

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