Man sentenced to 15 years over €2.2m robbery and kidnap

Family who were kidnapped by robbers speak of ordeal that changed their lives forever

Paul Richardson and his wife Marie speaking to media outside court today after Jason Kavanagh was sentenced to 15 years in prison.Photograph: Collins Courts.

Paul Richardson and his wife Marie speaking to media outside court today after Jason Kavanagh was sentenced to 15 years in prison.Photograph: Collins Courts.

 

A family who were kidnapped by armed robbers nine years ago have said that the ordeal changed their lives forever.

Paul and Marie Richardson were speaking after one member of the kidnap gang received a sentenced of 15 years imprisonment after a retrial.

Jason Kavanagh (39) was jailed for 25 years in 2009 but was freed in June 2012 when the Court of Criminal Appeal quashed that conviction.

Kavanagh of Corduff Avenue, Blanchardstown was part of the gang which kidnapped the family of the Securicor worker during the robbery in March 2005.

The gang took Paul Richardson’s wife and their two teenage sons into the Dublin Mountains and held them there at gunpoint overnight. Other gang members held Mr Richardson at the family home until the next morning when he was told to go to work and deliver company cash to a drop off point.

Passing sentence at Dublin Circuit Criminal Court Judge Martin Nolan said that Kavanagh should be given credit for any time already spent in custody. Kavanagh was previously jailed in November 2009 and was released on bail in June 2012.

Kavanagh and three co-accused denied the charges of falsely imprisoning the Richardsons at Ashcroft, Raheny on the night of March 13th and 14th and robbery of €2.28 million in cash from Paul Richardson and Securicor Security Services Ireland Ltd on March 14, 2005.

After a fifty day trial the jury failed to reach a majority verdict on the charges against Christopher Corcoran (66) of Bayside Boulevard North, Sutton and Mark Farrelly (42) of Moatview Court, Priorswood, Coolock. They found Alan Costello (50) of Cromcastle Road, Coolock not (NOT) guilty of all charges.

Judge Nolan said that Kavanagh had played a serious role in a cold blooded crime that involved the threat of extreme violence. He said the gang were seriously professional criminals who had executed the robbery with military precision.

He commended the “extreme fortitude” shown by the Richardson family and congratulated Detective Inspector Paul Scott for his tenacity and diligence in carrying out the investigation.

Inspector Scott told the court that Kavanagh, a father of two, has 25 previous convictions including assault, forgery and possession of stolen property.

Farrelly, Kavanagh and Corcoran were previously found guilty of the same charges in 2009. Judge Tony Hunt sentenced Corcoran to 12 years. He jailed the other two men for 25 years each.

Following a Supreme Court ruling in February 2012 which ruled that the type of search warrant used in the investigation was unconstitutional the Court of Criminal Appeal overturned these convictions and ordered a retrial.

The original trial lasted 66 days and was the longest criminal trial in Irish legal history.

The trial revolved around three main points of evidence: DNA tests, CCTV footage and mobile phone tracking. Using call trace data from service providers gardai drew up charts showing the times, duration and general location of mobile phone calls between a small group of numbers during the robbery.

These numbers had been generated out of the so-called “purple” phone, which was identified as the only phone used in the Dublin mountains on the night of the kidnapping.

Speaking outside the court Paul Richardson said the crime has left them with “on-going stress and health issues”.

He said: “There are others responsible and we look forward to them being brought to justice”.