Man cleared in 'dumb criminal' kidnapping case

Calin Cucura (31)

By Ken Foy Crime Correspondent

A completely innocent man was targeted by a gang of brainless thugs who wrongly believed that he had a huge cash haul belonging to a major drug dealer killed just a few days earlier, the Herald can reveal.

The gang, who were led by jailed gang enforcer Patrick 'Pajo' Hanlon (33), who has strong links to the INLA terror group, wrongly believed that Coolock man Sean Cummins was in possession of a cash haul which belonged to notorious criminal John Paul Joyce, whose body was found at Dunbro Lane near Dublin Airport on January 9, 2010.


Yesterday at Dublin Circuit Court, charges were dropped against an arcade night-manager who had been on trial accused of taking part in the abduction of the care assistant and father of nine. The court heard the prosecution had insufficient evidence to proceed with the case.

Calin Cucura (31) had been alleged by the prosecution to have been one of four men who bundled Sean Cummins into the back of a car, took him to an unknown location, and threatened to cut off his fingers one by one until his family paid money over.

Mr Cucura, of Derrynane Square, Dublin, and formerly of Blessington Road, Tallaght, had pleaded not guilty at Dublin Circuit Criminal Court to falsely imprisoning and making a threat to kill Mr Cummins on January 12, 2010.

The only person who has been convicted in relation to the terrifying kidnapping - which happened three days after the frozen body of Joyce was found - is Patrick 'Pajo' Hanlon, who is not suspected of any involvement in Joyce's murder.

Joyce had been shot six times just seven months after his brother Tommy Joyce was also gunned down.

In January of last year, Tallaght man Hanlon was given a six-year jail sentence, with the final year suspended, for the kidnapping.

The kidnapping happened in Coolock and Sean Cummins was targeted by the gang there and later held hostage for almost four hours.

Mr Cummins described how hours after his abduction his captors ordered him to strip to his underwear before driving him to a housing estate in Clondalkin and releasing him there.


He said a man, with a Dublin accent, told him: "We're looking for money and if your family don't cooperate we'll cut off one of your fingers every day until they do."

Mr Cummins told them they had the wrong people. He said no figures were specified but that the man went off and came back a while later and told him: "This is your lucky day, your family's cooperating, they're giving us the money, you'll be going home."

'Pajo' Hanlon was due to appear before a sentencing hearing at Dublin Circuit Court in November 2012, when he suffered minor leg injuries in a bizarre shooting incident.

No one has ever been arrested in relation to the incident.

Gardai believe that Hanlon shot himself to avoid going to prison over the Christmas period that year.