Man jailed for threatening to burn down business owner’s home

Robert Redmond (32) was seeking to collect an alleged ‘debt’ on behalf of his godfather

A man who threatened to burn down a business owner’s house if he did not give €58,000 to his godfather has been jailed at Dublin Circuit Criminal Court.

A man who threatened to burn down a business owner’s house if he did not give €58,000 to his godfather has been jailed at Dublin Circuit Criminal Court.

 

A man who threatened to burn down a business owner’s house if he did not give €58,000 to his godfather has been jailed for 4½ years.

Robert Redmond (32) was sent to collect the “debt” by a man who the court heard was his godfather in the Catholic sense “rather than the Al Pacino sense”.

Redmond, of Streamville Road, Kilbarrack, pleaded guilty at Dublin Circuit Criminal Court to making an unwarranted demand with menace at Newton Industrial Estate, Coolock, on September 26th, 2019. The father of two has 90 previous convictions, including for drugs and road traffic offences.

Det Garda Michael McCallion told Philip Rahn BL, prosecuting, that the owner of Spring Valley Meats based in the industrial estate in Coolock had previously subletted part of his premises to a man in October 2016.

Det Garda McCallion said that on the date in September 2019, the business owner was at his premises in the industrial estate when Redmond and another man arrived in a van.

Redmond told the business owner that he owed his godfather, the former tenant, €58,000 and he was there to collect. He said he knew where the man lived and he would go there in a few hours to collect the money.

The business owner later received a phone call from Redmond who told him his “gaff” would be burnt down with his “mot” inside it. He called the victim three more times, but the victim did not answer.

‘The easy way’

Redmond sent a text saying that he had tried to do things “the easy way”, that the victim owed his godfather and that if he wanted to know who he was dealing with he should “check the last six Sunday Worlds”.

Gardaí­ identified Redmond from CCTV and he voluntarily attended for an interview. During the interview he accepted he was at the scene in relation to a “debt” but he did not accept that threats were made.

Mr Rahn told the court the victim’s position is that no “debt” was owed.

Det Garda McCallion agreed with Michael O’Higgins SC, defending, that his client would be known to gardaí­ as having a drug problem. He agreed the accused is remorseful.

The detective agreed that Redmond had been asked by his godfather to go down and demand the money. He agreed it was fair to say that the accused was in “an awkward position” by view of his connection to this man.

Counsel said his client was not standing to be the beneficiary and was not “the brains” behind any attempted extortion.

Judge Martin Nolan said what Redmond had done was “very serious”, though he noted his guilty plea and remorse as he sentenced him to 4½ years imprisonment.