Unanimous verdict on tiger kidnapping

by Sylvia Pownall
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[vc_row][vc_column width=”2/3″][vc_column_text]A MAN who took part in a tiger kidnapping in which a postmistress, her daughter and a visiting student were abducted from their Malahide home has been convicted.

Paschal Kelly (53) had pleaded not guilty at the Circuit Criminal Court to trespass and false imprisonment of An Post worker Susan Lawlor, her daughter Emma Carter and Italian student Gabriella Saisa.

One of the women said the incident in which they were taken from their home at Seabury Drive in Malahide on September 25, 2014 “felt like a horror movie”.

Kelly, of Cootehill, Co Cavan, had denied robbing Ms Lawlor of cash at Bayside Post Office and threatening to kill all three women at an unknown location.

But after a nine-week trial, a jury of seven men and five women returned unanimous guilty verdicts on all charges relating to the €90,000 tiger kidnapping.

Judge Karen O’Connor remanded Kelly in custody ahead of sentencing in January.

The women 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.

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 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 **** 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 had made a call.

She denied doing so but told the jury that she had managed to ring a special ‘tiger raid hotline number issued by An Post.

“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,” while Ms Saisa said she had felt nauseous on the car journey and thought the men were going to kill her.

Ms Lawlor said raider ‘Number 1’ beat and threatened her when she told them the post office safe was on a timer.

She described how she spat in the back seat of the car and plucked one of her hairs on the journey, adding: “If I died, I wanted gardai to know I’d been in the car.”[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][vc_column width=”1/3″][/vc_column][/vc_row]

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