Man guilty of tiger kid­nap­ping of post­mistress, daugh­ter and stu­dent

Irish Independent - - News - Aoife Nic Ardghail

A MAN has been con­victed of a €90,000 tiger kid­nap­ping four years ago in which a post­mistress, her daugh­ter and an Ital­ian stu­dent were ab­ducted from their home.

Paschal Kelly (53), with an ad­dress at Coote­hill, Co Ca­van, had pleaded not guilty to tres­pass and to false im­pris­on­ment of post­mistress Su­san Lawlor, her daugh­ter Emma Carter and Ital­ian stu­dent Gabriella Saisa at Se­abury Drive, Malahide, Dublin, on Septem­ber 25, 2014.

Kelly had also pleaded not guilty to rob­bing Ms Lawlor of cash at Bay­side Post Of­fice, Sut­ton, Dublin and threat­en­ing to kill her, Ms Carter and Ms Saisa at an un­known lo­ca­tion in the State. He had also de­nied un­law­ful possession of a ve­hi­cle, all on the same date.

Shortly af­ter mid­day yesterday, the jury of seven men and five women re­turned unan­i­mous guilty ver­dicts on all charges af­ter an hour and 40 min­utes de­lib­er­at­ing.

The trial was orig­i­nally sched­uled to last six weeks, but ex­tended into a ninth due to le­gal ar­gu­ment in the ab­sence of the jury.

Judge Karen O’Con­nor thanked the ju­rors for their “ex­tra­or­di­nary ser­vice and your ex­tra­or­di­nary com­mit­ment to you jury ser­vice”. She ex­cused them from jury ser­vice for life.

Kelly has been re­manded in cus­tody ahead of his sen­tenc­ing in Jan­uary next year.

The judge di­rected vic­tim im­pact state­ments be taken from the three in­jured par­ties.

Dur­ing the trial Ms Lawlor, Ms Carter and Ms Saisa de­scribed be­ing ab­ducted by two masked and armed in­trud­ers in the early hours of the morn­ing and driven to var­i­ous lo­ca­tions be­fore the post of­fice raid.

The two men broke into the home, tied the women’s hands with ca­ble ties and bun­dled them all into Ms Lawlor’s Nis­san Qashqai. They were later joined by a third raider in a Volk­swa­gen Golf at a field in an un­known lo­ca­tion.

On the way to this field, Ms Lawlor told the jury her phone rang in her hand­bag. She said the driver “freaked” and asked: “Who the f*** is ring­ing you at this hour of the morn­ing?”

She said that this raider, who she called “Num­ber 1”, had ini­tially come into her room af­ter break­ing in, and had de­manded to know if she’d made a call.

She de­nied do­ing so to the in­truder, but told the jury she had man­aged to ring a spe­cial “tiger raid hot­line num­ber” is­sued by An Post when she heard her daugh­ter scream­ing in the house.

Af­ter her phone rang in the car, her daugh­ter tried to calm the sit­u­a­tion by suggest­ing it was one of the neigh­bours.

“I feared for my life be­cause the Num­ber 1 guy kept say­ing he was go­ing to shoot me if I’d made the call,” Ms Lawlor tes­ti­fied.

Ms Carter said it had “felt like a hor­ror movie” upon see­ing two in­trud­ers in her home, but she “knew it would be OK” once she re­alised it was a tiger kid­nap­ping – if the raiders got their money.

Ms Saisa, who was learn­ing English, said she thought the men were go­ing to kill her.

Guilty: Paschal Kelly

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