Monday 19 February 2018

Screwdriver killer's father jailed for tiger kidnap role

Michael McGuirk (45) of Captain’s Road, Crumlin, Dublin, who was sentenced to nine years at Dublin Circuit Criminal Court for his role in a robbery in 2009.
Michael McGuirk (45) of Captain’s Road, Crumlin, Dublin, who was sentenced to nine years at Dublin Circuit Criminal Court for his role in a robbery in 2009.

Niamh O'Donoghue and Conor Gallagher

THE father of a young man serving life in prison for the brutal murder of two Polish immigrants has been jailed for 10 years for his part in a tiger kidnapping.

Father-of-five Michael McGuirk (45), of Captain's Road, Crumlin, Dublin, was part of a gang who netted €250,000 from a tiger-kidnapping robbery in October 2009.

McGuirk, who pleaded guilty to his involvement in the crime, is the father of David Curran (21), who is serving life in prison for the murder of Polish nationals Pawel Kalite and Marius Szwajkos, who were stabbed in the head with a screwdriver.

McGuirk's trial heard how terrified bank official Nicola Hall woke in the middle of the night to find armed raiders in their home.

The gang separated the couple from each other and photographed them with a gun put to their heads.


Mr Jones and two children, aged three and six, were bundled into the back of a freezing, dirty van and driven away while Ms Hall was ordered to go to her work at the Bank of Ireland branch in Inchicore, Dublin as normal the next morning.

The bank official was told the children would be mutilated and her husband shot.

"If there was any idea of hell, this would be it," she told Dublin Circuit Criminal Court.

Sentencing McGuirk, Judge Desmond Hogan said: "There's no doubt about it, this is a very, very nasty crime, bordering on the horrific."

The judge noted McGuirk was not one of the men who entered the house, but he was the one who called Ms Hall to tell her where to find her family after the money was delivered.

"What an ordeal these people went through," Judge Hogan commented. "It was a very well-planned operation."

The court heard on the night of the kidnapping, Ms Hall and the children were asleep in bed.

Mr Jones, a taxi driver and a former member of the Defence Forces, arrived home to his house in Lucan at 1am and which point he was set upon by three masked men at his front door.

Ms Hall was woken up by a man leaning across the bed holding a hand over her mouth.

One of the children got out of bed and asked who the strange men where.

The couple were able to convince the child that it was all just a game – a pretence that has been maintained to this day, the court heard.

Mr Jones told how he and the children were put in the back of the van.

The children were forced to go to the toilet inside the vehicle as they were not given the dignity to go outside, he said.

Meanwhile, Ms Hall left the house at 8.20am and drove to work where she tried to behave as normal until the bank vault's time lock came off at 11.30am.

She put €210,000, £6,000, $10,500 and a number of other foreign currencies worth €18,000 in a bag.

After Ms Hall left the bank her phone rang.

The raiders told her to drive her jeep to a location and leave it there with the keys in the ignition.

Mr Jones and the children were held in the back of the van for five hours.

As soon as the driver left, one of the children squeezed through a small gap in the front of the van and alerted a passerby.

A 999 call was received from an anonymous caller at 1pm to say a man and two children were tied up in a van.

This call was traced back to a phone box in Templeogue which was forensically examined and fingerprints taken.

When McGuirk was later arrested, it was found fingerprints matched those on the phone box and a partial DNA profile was found on the handbrake of the van.

Irish Independent

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