Wednesday 21 March 2018

Dad of two jailed for role in tiger kidnap that netted €250,000

Sonya McLean

A FATHER of two has been jailed after he was captured on CCTV footage taking €250,000 from an AIB employee who had been forced by tiger kidnappers to steal the cash from his workplace.

Ross Caffrey (26) was later stopped by gardai as the passenger in a Toyota Avensis and was found to have €21,000 on him.

The cash was in bundles of €50 notes and some of those bundles still bore the bank seal. Some of the bands surrounding the cash had the bank employee’s initials on them which allowed gardaí to trace it back to the robbery.

Caffrey later admitted to gardai that he knew it was “likely” that the money had been taken in a robbery. He said he was to receive €3,000 for collecting the cash.

Caffrey of Richmond Avenue, Fairview, pleaded guilty at Dublin Circuit Criminal Court to possession of stolen cash at Royal Canal Park, Ratoath Road, on June 23, 2010.

He had initially denied charges relating to the tiger kidnapping and a trial date was set but a plea was offered to this charge and accepted by the Director of Public Prosecutions.

Caffrey has 22 previous convictions including theft and burglary. He was jailed in 2011 for two years for making threats to kill or cause serious harm.

Judge Martin Nolan jailed Caffrey for three and half years, saying it was the most lenient he could be considering the offence.

“He entered into this in a cold-blooded way to obtain funds,” the judge said before he accepted there was “always hope for rehabilitation”.

He said it had been a serious robbery and a substantial amount of cash had been taken.

Judge Nolan ordered that the €21,000 seized that day be returned to the AIB.

Detective Garda Michael McGrath told Shane Costelloe BL, prosecuting, that the AIB employee’s Tallaght home was raided on June 22, 2010, by armed men.

The bank worker was taken out of the house and ordered to take the cash from the bank or his flatmate’s life would be “in jeopardy”.

Gardaí witnessed the handover of the cash near the Red Cow roundabout and later viewed CCTV footage from that area.

Officers then staked out a private residence following a garda tip-off and the Avensis was observed arriving at the house. A man got out and went into the house before returning to the car.

Gardaí then followed the vehicle and Caffrey was arrested when it was later stopped.

He was interviewed 13 times and identified himself from the CCTV footage at the Red Cow Roundabout.

Bernard Condon SC, defending, said his client is in a long-term relationship and has two children aged two and four years old.

He said he has completed a number of courses in custody and is now drug free.

“He has shown himself capable of using his time in custody productively,” Mr Condon said

He asked the court to take into account his client’s co-operation with the garda investigation and his plea of guilty.

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