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Kidnap accused 'has ties to crime', detective tells trial

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Paschal Kelly, who denies tiger kidnap charges

Paschal Kelly, who denies tiger kidnap charges

Paschal Kelly, who denies tiger kidnap charges

A man accused of a €90,000 tiger kidnapping four years ago has ties to organised crime, a detective told a court yesterday.

Paschal Kelly (52), of Cootehill, Co Cavan, has pleaded not guilty at Dublin Circuit Criminal Court to trespass and to 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 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.

Suspect

Martin O'Rourke SC, defending, yesterday asked Detective Garda Domhnall O'Connell whether Mr Kelly was a man that "gardai would dearly love to see locked up" outside of his alleged involvement in this case.

Det Gda O'Connell said he disagreed.

Mr O'Rourke also asked whether the detective believed that Mr Kelly was related to organised crime.

Det Gda O'Connell agreed that he did hold this view.

Det Gda O'Connell also told the court that a man who ran a dog kennel was not a suspect in the case, despite a price tag for a dog product being discovered in a car allegedly used in the commission of the kidnapping.

"A lot of people own dogs," he said. Mr O'Rourke put it to the detective the dog kennel owner resembled the descriptions given by several witnesses of one of the men allegedly involved in the case, in that he has grey hair and a beard.

Det Gda O'Connell said in the photo he had of the man, he had a full head of black hair and no beard.

The detective told Kerida Naidoo SC, prosecuting, that the reason gardai did not hold an identity parade in this case was due to there being no realistic prospect of identification.

He explained that Mr Kelly's appearance had changed considerably since the date of the alleged offence.

Last Friday, Detective Chief Superintendent Anthony Howard told the court two gardai identified Mr Kelly as the driver of the car used in the tiger kidnapping after viewing CCTV footage.

He said that he had not been aware at that time that the two detectives had participated in an arrest of Mr Kelly three weeks earlier and that they had viewed images of Mr Kelly before the operation.

The trial continues.


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