Friday 24 November 2017

Man (61) accused of extorting €150k from business people sent for trial

Andrew Phelan

A DUBLIN man accused of unlawfully demanding €150,000 from businesspeople has been sent for trial on extortion charges.

James Gantley (61) had a book of evidence served on him when he appeared in Dublin District Court charged with demanding cash for the return of stolen mail and other alleged offences in 2011.

Judge Cormac Dunne sent him for jury trial on five counts relating to four alleged victims - three men and a woman.

Mr Gantley, with an address at Sundrive Road, Crumlin was remanded on continuing bail pending his trial, which will take place at Dublin Circuit Criminal Court.

The accused is charged with making an unlawful demand from a man for €1,000 per bag of stolen mail at Kimmage Road on October 10, 2011.

He is charged with demanding €100,000 from another man at Templeogue Village on October 11 that year, and demanding money with menaces from a woman at the same place on October 27.

Mr Gantley is accused of demanding €50,000 with menaces from a third man at Kimmage Road Lower on November 2, and another count of making demands on that man at Tyrconnell Road, Inchicore on November 11.

The charges are under Section 17 of the Public Order Act.

The final count, under the Theft and Fraud Act, is that he handled stolen postal mail at a location in Dublin on November 4 that year.

Judge Dunne gave the defendant the formal caution that he must provide to the prosecution within 14 days details of any alibi he intends to rely on in the course of his trial.

The court heard the accused was on bail given to him at a garda station at the time he was charged. Defence Solicitor John Bermingham said bail was in the Mr Gantley's own bond of €300.

He sought an order for disclosure by the prosecution of a copy of the video of Mr Gantley’s garda interview.

The defendant spoke only to say “good morning” to the judge when greeted, and to indicate that he understood the alibi caution.

Judge Dunne sent him forward to the present sittings of the Circuit Court on a date in June.

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