Dunne gang member jailed for failed heist
A “highly regarded” and “valuable” member of Eamon Dunne’s criminal gang has been sentenced to 14 years for conspiracy to steal from a cash-in-transit van and possession of ammunition.
Joseph Warren (30), Belclare Crescent, Ballymun, a qualified bricklayer and former soldier, said he joined the gang because he missed the “camaraderie” of the Army.
He claimed he was acting under duress from Dunne and told that he would be going to “God’s house” if he did not open the Nissan Patrol with a consaw to allow his accomplice access to it.
Warren had pleaded guilty to the ammunition charge on the morning of his trial after previously looking for phone records which he claimed showed communication between him and gardaí leading up to his arrest in July 2009.
Gardaí do not accept that such communication existed.
The investigation, led by Det Garda Supt Dominic Hayes, involved months of surveillance and included members from the National Bureau of Criminal Investigation, the Special Detective Unit and the Crime and Investigation Unit.
“They [the Garda] have done the community a good service,” Judge Patrick McCartan said before adding that each of the members of the gang had received their just deserts. He added that it might seem wrong to make such a comment about the late Eamon Dunne but added: “He who rules by the sword may end up done by the sword.”
Warren told the court that Deirdre Murphy SC, prosecuting, was right when she suggested to him during the trial that he was attracted to Dunne’s gang having experienced the “camaraderie” of the Army.
Warren had been convicted of conspiracy by a Dublin Circuit Criminal Court jury last week following a three-week trial.
A jury in March had failed to reach a verdict on the same charge. He had pleaded not guilty to conspiring to steal cash from Chubb Ireland at Tesco supermarket on the Shackleton Road in Celbridge on November 2nd, 2007.
He pleaded guilty earlier this year to possession of the ammunition.
The attempted heist gang, including Dunne, Alan and Wayne Bradley, Jeffrey Morrow, Michael Ryan and Warren, had followed a Chubb Ireland Nissan Patrol for hours in the hope of stealing over €880,000 from the safe in it.
Warren was arrested in the car park after he was observed by gardaí approaching the vehicle with a running consaw.
Judge McCartan said the evidence was that Warren was “an active and trusted member of the gang” and “highly regarded”, which did not entitle him in law or otherwise to suggest that he was acting under duress.
Warren had suggested he was working “in cahoots” with gardaí in relation to the ammunition charge but then later stated he was acting under duress from another person.
He sentenced Warren to eight years for the conspiracy and a consecutive six years for the ammunition charge, but he suspended the final three years on strict conditions.