A baby hat, duct tape and a cable tie were among the items discovered by gardaí in a hay shed in north Dublin, a kidnap and robbery trial has heard.
Jonathan Gill (35) is accused of a kidnapping a postal worker, his partner and their 10-week-old baby daughter 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 ten-week-old baby in Drogheda between August 1 and August 2, 2011.
Paul Mullen told the trial today that he and his wife rented a shed in farmland near Swords, Co Dublin, which they used to store hay for their horses.
He said the couple cleaned the shed out thoroughly before storing their hay in it. Around July 27 or 28, 2011, Mr Mullen said he was in the shed when he noticed part of it had been damaged and there was a blanket along with a pillow, duvet and water bottle inside. The blanket looked like a “newborn baby blanket with holes in it,” he said.
“I thought someone homeless might have stayed there,” he said.
The next time Mr Mullen visited the shed, he said the items were gone. The court heard that he had repaired the shed but it was damaged again.
When asked if he was sure about the date he visited the shed at the end of July, Mr Mullen said he was certain, because he and his wife had attended the RDS Horse Show the following week.
Gardaí obtained a search warrant and the shed was searched on August 18. During the initial search, duct tape, a cable tie, a milk carton pull ring, masking tape and two keys were found, the court heard.
On August 24, Det Sgt Nicholas Kelly said he brought Mr Nawn to the shed. “I believed this was the shed he was held in overnight on August 1 and 2,” Det Sgt Kelly said.
The court heard Mr Nawn recognised the shed but thought there was more hay in it than there had been when he was held there. The following day, Mr Mullen removed the hay for gardaí. A further 13 items were then recovered, the court heard.
These included a baby hat, duct tape, a cable tie and three cigarette butts, Det Sgt Kelly said.
The trial continues before Judge Elma Sheahan and a jury of seven men and five women.