Friday 15 December 2017

Kidnap suspect bought milk for hostage baby, court hears

Jonathan Gill: remanded in custody in Dublin yesterday
Jonathan Gill: remanded in custody in Dublin yesterday

Andrew Phelan

A SUSPECT in a tiger kidnapping was linked to the crime when he bought milk for a starving baby who was being held hostage with her mother, gardai have alleged.

The prosecution against Jonathan Gill (32) maintains the kidnappers failed to destroy the empty carton when they burned out the car used in the abduction, after stealing nearly €662,000 in the 2011 raid.

Cloverhill District Court in Dublin heard the 10-month-old child and her mother were imprisoned in the car, while the father took the money from the post office where he worked and delivered it to the kidnappers.

It was alleged that there was evidence linking the defendant to one of two cars captured on garda cameras driving in convoy into Drogheda in the early hours of August 2, 2011.

It was also alleged that arrangements had had to be made to feed the baby who was "literally starving" and there was CCTV evidence of Gill buying milk at a shop. The car was burned out after the raiders escaped, but was not completely destroyed – and gardai recovered a milk carton which was allegedly from a batch that had been delivered to the shop.

Mr Gill, a father-of-two, is charged with falsely imprisoning post office worker Warren Nawn (37), his partner Jean Marie Matthews (36), and their 10-week-old baby daughter Ella in Drogheda between August 1 and 2, 2011.

He is also charged with stealing cash from a post office at West Street in Drogheda on August 2.

Mr Gill was granted bail subject to strict conditions following the hearing.

It was his second court appearance on false imprisonment and robbery charges following his arrest last week. Judge Grainne Malone remanded him in custody, with consent to bail for two weeks for the preparation of a book of evidence.

Sergeant Fearghal O'Toole had earlier objected to the bail application, citing the seriousness of the allegations and the strength of the proposed evidence.

Outlining the allegations, he said the family had been at home when Mr Nawn answered a call to the door. He was forced back in by three raiders, two of whom were armed.

In the early hours of the morning, Mr Nawn was placed in the boot of his car and his partner and baby were put in a different car. They were driven to another location in Swords, Co Dublin and were left there for the night, tied up.

The baby went without being fed for eight to 10 hours and became "extremely distressed", Sgt O'Toole continued.

Mr Nawn was ordered by the gang to go to work and take the money from a cash delivery at the post office. While he took €661,125, his partner and child were removed to another location in Mulhuddart where one of Ms Matthews' arms was tied to the frame of a steel bed while her other arm was freed to hold her baby. She was left to make good her escape.

Mr Nawn delivered the money to the raiders, who fled.

Sgt O'Toole said the charges carried a maximum term of life imprisonment. He said he believed the defendant would commit offences if granted bail. The money taken in the Drogheda raid had not been recovered and Sgt O'Toole believed the accused still had access to it.

Mr Finucane said the defendant had been arrested and questioned in early 2012 for two days and released without charge.

Irish Independent

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