Sunday 24 March 2019

Man goes on trial for post office 'tiger kidnapping'

(stock photo)
(stock photo)

Aoife Nic Ardghail

A Cavan resident has gone on trial accused of a "tiger kidnapping" raid at a Dublin post office four years ago.

Paschal Kelly (52) has pleaded not guilty at Dublin Circuit Criminal Court to trespass and falsely imprisoning postmistress Susan Lawlor, her daughter Emma Carter and Italian student Gabriella Saisa at Seabury Drive, Malahide, Dublin, on September 25, 2014.

Mr Kelly, with an address at Cootehill, Co Cavan, has also pleaded not guilty to robbing Ms Lawlor of cash at Bayside Post Office, Sutton, Dublin, and threatening to kill her, Ms Carter and Ms Saisa at an unknown location in the State.

He has also denied unlawful possession of a vehicle, all on the same date.

In his opening address, prosecution counsel Kerida Naidoo SC told the jury that a case like the one before them was sometimes referred to as a "tiger kidnapping". He added this was not a legal term.

He said it was the State's case that two men broke into the women's home, drove them around north county Dublin and brought them to the post office, where Ms Lawlor gave them access to the safe.

Mr Naidoo said it was alleged three men in total were involved and they took about €90,000 in an incident which lasted from 1am to 8am. He said there would be evidence that the women were driven around beforehand because of a timer on the safe.

Gardaí were alerted to the crime early because Ms Lawlor happened to be awake when the intruders entered her home and had phoned an emergency number.

Counsel said the prosecution say Ms Lawlor had this number for such an event and though she didn't get to talk, the call recipient "got a sense of something not right" and contacted gardaí.

Mr Naidoo said the jury would also hear one of the men allegedly involved was arrested near the post office a short time after the robbery and the other two fled on foot.

He said there would be evidence of the other men being apprehended later.

The trial continues before Judge Karen O'Connor and a jury of five women and seven men.

Irish Independent

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