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Phone records in Tiger kidnap case 'not admissable'

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Mark Farrelly

Mark Farrelly

 Christopher Corcoran

Christopher Corcoran

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Mark Farrelly

Two men previously jailed for taking part in a 2005 T iger raid have been found not guilty after a "dramatic" ruling that mobile phone records cannot be used as evidence in the case.

Mark Farrelly (43) and Christopher Corcoran (67) were convicted in 2009 of kidnapping cash-in-transit van driver Paul Richardson and his family during a €2.28m robbery.

They were sentenced to 25 years and 12 years respectively.

In 2012, they were freed after the convictions were overturned by the Court of Criminal Appeal.

A retrial ended in December 2013 with a hung jury.

Yesterday Judge Mary Ellen Ring directed the jury to find the men not guilty. They will not face any retrial.

This followed a ruling by Judge Ring on Wednesday on a defence application challenging the admissibility of mobile phone records.

robbery

Prosecuting counsel Dominic McGinn SC told the court the ruling had a "dramatic effect" as the records made up the bulk of the State's case against the men.

They allegedly pointed to a network of nine mobile phones used by gang members to plan and execute the robbery.

The armed gang burst into the Richardson family home on the night of March 13, 2005 and took Marie Richardson and her two teenage sons into the Dublin mountains.

They were held there overnight while Mr Richardson was held at gunpoint at his home and told to go to work and deliver the cash to a car park of a pub in the Strawberry Beds, Lucan, south Dublin.

Mr Richardson testified that he was crying that he could hardly drive the van. The stolen cash has never been retrieved and Judge Ring noted that the events continue to impinge on the family's life ten years on.

Corcoran of Bayside Boulevard North, Sutton and Farrelly of Moatview Court, Priorswood, Coolock had pleaded not guilty to falsely imprisoning the Richardsons at Ashcroft, Raheny on the night of March 13 and 14, 2005 and robbery of €2.28m.

The legal argument centred on whether records from mobile phone masts could be relied on to link the phones to the robbery by placing them at relevant times and places.

hnews@herald.ie


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