herald

Thursday 19 October 2017

Cash driver - 'I thought I would die in ambush'

Michael McGrath
Michael McGrath

A CASH-IN-TRANSIT driver told the High Court how he was confronted by a masked raider with a sawn-off shot gun who threatened to blow his head off as he collected a box of cash from a credit union.

Michael McGrath (34) said he thought he was going to be killed and was "pretty frightened" when he was ambushed outside Finglas Credit Union in Dublin on January 12, 2012.

Mr McGrath, St Mary's Road, East Wall, Dublin, has brought an action for damages against his employer, Senaca Tech Ltd. He has claimed he was shocked and distressed and now suffers from an anxiety disorder.

He has claimed there was no variation in the pick up times from the credit union and that the collection run had been reduced from a two-man to a one-man operation. He further alleges a panic button in the transit van was not working on the day of the robbery.

Ms Justice Mary Irvine was told a forklift was parked on the driveway when the cash in transit van pulled up.

Mr McGrath told the court that building materials were being unloaded and he had to pull up and walk back to the credit union door, which he would normally have driven up to.

Mr McGrath sued Senaca Tech, with offices at Tougher Business Park, Ladyswell, Naas, Co Kildare, claiming there was a failure to vary the times at which the cash collection took place and that there was a failure to carry out any risk assessment.

Senaca Tech denies the claims and say Mr McGrath did not report any faults with his vehicle on the day.

It contends when Mr McGrath failed to adhere to his training and failed to identify the builder's vehicle allegedly blocking access to the credit union was a potential risk.

Mr McGrath told the court he collected the box of cash and was jogging back to the van when one of the builders shouted "watch your back".

"I turned around. The man was pointing the gun at me and a said he would blow my head off and I was to drop the box. I dropped the box.", he said.

The raider was wearing a hat and had a scarf over his face.

He ran to his van and pressed the panic alarm but he said there was no response and he had to use his phone to get help.

The case continues.

hnews@herald.ie

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