Man jailed for role in ‘mob’ assembled to force family from home

Daniel Kane (29) pleaded guilty to assault, false imprisonment in Saggart and Rathcoole

A man has been jailed for four years for his involvement in a ‘mob’ which was recruited to force a family from their home. Photograph:  Matt Kavanagh.

A man has been jailed for four years for his involvement in a ‘mob’ which was recruited to force a family from their home. Photograph: Matt Kavanagh.

 

A man has been jailed for four years for his involvement in a “mob” which was recruited to force a family from their home.

Daniel Kane (29), of Hollycourt, Ballybrack, Co Dublin, last month pleaded guilty at the non-jury Special Criminal Court to assaulting John Roche, causing him harm at The Towers, Garter Lane, Saggart, Co Dublin on June 9th, 2015.

He had also pleaded guilty to falsely imprisoning Martin Byrne at Rathcoole and Saggart on the same date.

Sentencing Kane on Friday, Mr Justice Tony Hunt said that a “mob” had been recruited for the purpose of intimidating Mr Byrne and his family out of their home. The court had previously heard that Mr Byrne, who was employed in security in CityWest, was involved in a dispute with his employer.

Mr Justice Hunt said the dispute was “complicated” by the fact that Mr Byrne and his family lived in The Towers, a complex owned by his employer.

In May 2015, Mr Byrne went to a meeting with his employer at Keatings Business Park where, with two other men, they discussed “transactions being contemplated in relation to land” owned by Mr Byrne’s employer and mentioned involvement with “Nama”.

A previous case related to the matter heard that Mr Byrne’s employer was Jim Mansfield Jnr.

At a second meeting, Mr Byrne was brought to an office with his employer and another man, Declan Duffy, where he was told he “wouldn’t be as brave now”.

Five more men entered the office and Mr Byrne was told he had to vacate his home. He said that if he was given 24 hours he would remove his belongings and family from the house and they would have no further dealings.

Ransacked

But Mr Byrne was told he would be taken back to The Towers and was surrounded by the men, pushed to side of building and his pockets ransacked. The defendant was one of the people who grabbed him.

Mr Byrne was forced into a Honda Accord, in which Kane struck him twice in the face. He was told the other men were to bring him to the “other place” if Mr Byrne tried anything. Mr Byrne said he thought his life was in “real danger”.

They drove to The Towers and Mr Roche came to the gate. He was asked to open it but refused to and ran into the complex. However, Mr Byrne knew a “trick” for opening the gate without a buzzer and they drove into the complex.

His wife was in their home and she went upstairs to get dressed. In what Mr Justice Hunt referred to as a “sinister development”, the woman was followed by one of the men who looked on while she got dressed.

Meanwhile, some of the other men went to look for Mr Roche and found him in a nearby house.

Mr Justice Hunt said that Kane played a “leading part” in the pursuit of Mr Roche, forcibly removing him from the house and restraining him while he was punched and kicked.

The men then took Mr Byrne to the other house, where he saw Mr Roche who was covered in blood and “going in and out of consciousness”. Mr Byrne was then pushed to a chair and hit in the head several times.

Another car, driven by a garda, arrived at the complex and Mr Byrne convinced the mob he would be able to get the guard to leave.

‘Hysterical’

Outside, his wife was “hysterical” and trying to climb into the back of the garda’s car. Other gardaí were notified and all but one of the men ran from the complex. Kane was later located in a restaurant on the outskirts of CityWest.

Mr Justice Hunt said that the false imprisonment had taken place in “very disturbing circumstances indeed”. The judge said it was “clearly envisaged” that violence and intimidation would be involved, including in a family home, for purpose of evicting the family from their home.

“The entire event was permeated by serious intimidation and violence,” Mr Justice Hunt said, adding that Kane had played a demonstrable part.

A mitigating factor in his sentence was that there was a “reasonable possibility” Kane may not have anticipated the full extent of what was to happen. This was by reference to the fact that he was not disguised and drove to The Towers in his sister’s car, in which he had left some identifying documents.

The judges had also taken into account Kane’s guilty plea.

He was sentenced to five years with one suspended for false imprisonment and three years for the assault. The sentences are to run concurrently.