Wednesday 20 June 2018

Dublin man convicted of being 'inside man' in €2m robbery

Paul and Marie Richardson
Paul and Marie Richardson

Declan Brennan

A jury has convicted a Dublin man of being the “inside man” in a €2.08 million cash-in-transit van robbery carried out 13 years ago.

Niall Byrne (36) of Crumlin Road Flats, Dublin and three other men denied being part of the armed gang that kidnapped the Richardson family from their Dublin home on March 13, 2005.

The gang forced Securicor van driver Paul Richardson to go to work the next day while his wife Marie and their two teenage sons were held at gunpoint in the Dublin mountains until he had delivered the cash to a car park in west Dublin.

Just before noon on Tuesday, having deliberated for just under 18 hours, the jury at Dublin Circuit Criminal Court convicted Mr Byrne of conspiracy to robbery. The jury foreman told Judge Melanie Greally they were unable to agree a verdict on the kidnapping charges and Judge Greally recorded a disagreement.

Mr Byrne, Mark Farrelly (47) Moatview Court, Priorswood, Coolock, Christopher Corcoran (70) of Rosedale, Raheny and David Byrne (45) of Old Brazil Way, Knocksedan, Swords had all pleaded not guilty to robbing Mr Richardson and Securicor of €2.08 million on March 14, 2005 and to the false imprisonment of the Richardson family at their home at Ashcroft, Raheny on March 13 and 14, 2005.

This is the third time Niall Byrne was prosecuted at trial, with the other two trials ending with hung juries.

On Monday afternoon the jury convicted Farrelly, Corcoran and David Byrne of five counts of robbery and false imprisonment of the four Richardsons. Judge Melanie Greally remanded all four men into custody to appear before the court on June 5th next.

The State's case is that Niall Byrne, who worked for Securicor at the time of the “tiger kidnap” robbery, was the “inside man” for the gang.

This trial, which began last January, was the fifth time the case went to trial. Farrelly and Corcoran and Jason Kavanagh Corduff Avenue, Blanchardstown were convicted and jailed in 2009 but were released in 2012 after the convictions were overturned by the Court of Criminal Appeal on the back of a Supreme Court ruling that search warrants used in this and other investigations were unconstitutional.

In 2015 Farrelly and Corcoran were acquitted of all charges when Judge Mary Ellen Ring ruled that the State could not use the mobile phone evidence. A year later the Court of Appeal said Judge Ring was mistaken and overturned the acquittals.

The trial heard that Niall Byrne was linked to Kavanagh, who was convicted again in 2013. Byrne had a reputation for being late for work and that there were a number of “wake up calls” to his mobile phone that morning from a phone linked to Kavanagh.

The jury also heard evidence that when there a delay in getting Mr Richardson's van into the Securicor depot, there was a “frantic” series of calls from Niall Byrne's phone.

Dominic McGinn SC, prosecuting, told the jury that the State's case was based on the idea of joint enterprise or common design, meaning where a group of people knowingly commit a crime, each is responsible for the acts of the others.

“Each of the men may not actually have pointed a gun...but if they were part of the gang and the overall plan they are as guilty as everyone else,” he said.

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