A jury has convicted a Dubliner of being the “inside man” in a €2.08 million cash-in-transit van robbery carried out more than 13 years ago.
Niall Byrne (36), of Crumlin Road Flats, Dublin, and three other men denied being part of the armed gang that kidnapped the Richardson family from their Dublin home on March 13th, 2005.
The gang forced Securicor van driver Paul Richardson to go to work while his wife and their two teenage sons were held at gunpoint in the Dublin mountains. They were released when he delivered the cash to a car park in west Dublin.
After almost 18 hours of deliberations the jury at Dublin Circuit Criminal Court convicted Byrne of conspiracy to commit robbery. The jury foreman told Judge Melanie Greally they were unable to agree a verdict on the kidnapping charges and Judge Greally recorded a disagreement.
Byrne; Mark Farrelly (47) of Moatview Court, Priorswood, Coolock; Christopher Corcoran (70) of Rosedale, Raheny; and David Byrne (45) of Old Brazil Way, Knocksedan, Swords had all pleaded not guilty to robbing Mr Richardson and Securicor of €2.08 million on March 14th, 2005 and to the false imprisonment of the Richardson family in their home at Ashcroft, Raheny on March 13th and 14th, 2005.
This is the third time Niall Byrne was prosecuted over the matter with the two earlier trials ending with hung juries. The jury on Monday convicted Farrelly, Corcoran and David Byrne of five counts of robbery and the false imprisonment of the Richardsons.
Judge Melanie Greally remanded all four men into custody to appear before the court on June 5th next.
The State’s case was that Niall Byrne, who worked for Securicor at the time of the robbery, was the “inside man” for the gang.
Farrelly and Corcoran and Jason Kavanagh, of Corduff Avenue, Blanchardstown, were convicted and jailed in 2009. However, they were released in 2012 after the convictions were overturned by the Court of Criminal Appeal on the back of a Supreme Court ruling that search warrants used in this and other investigations were unconstitutional.
In 2015, Farrelly and Corcoran were acquitted of all charges when Judge Mary Ellen Ring ruled that the State could not use mobile phone evidence. A year later the Court of Appeal overturned the acquittals.
The trial heard that Niall Byrne was linked to Kavanagh, who was convicted again in 2013. Byrne had a reputation for being late for work and there were a number of “wake up calls” to his mobile that morning from a phone linked to Kavanagh.
The jury also heard evidence that when there was a delay in getting Mr Richardson’s van into the Securicor depot, there was a “frantic” series of calls from Niall Byrne’s phone.
Dominic McGinn SC, prosecuting, told the jury that the State’s case was based on the idea of joint enterprise or common design, meaning where a group of people knowingly commit a crime, each is responsible for the acts of the others.
“Each of the men may not actually have pointed a gun...but if they were part of the gang and the overall plan they are as guilty as everyone else,” he said.