herald

Monday 1 September 2014

Freddie cousin lied about €50k watches

A PERMA-TANNED cousin of gang boss 'Fat' Freddie Thompson has failed in an attempt to get gardai to return two Rolex watches worth almost €50,000 which they seized in a search for firearms.

Liam Roe (33) failed in his police property application after a judge ruled that he had lied in the witness box and described Roe's evidence at the Circuit Court hearing as false.

At the hearing it emerged that Roe was awarded IR£300,000 in a personal injuries case related to a car crash in 1999 and he claimed that he bought watches rather than spend all the money he had received in compensation.

Roe is considered a close friend and ally of his major league criminal cousins 'Fat' Freddie and Liam Byrne and he has had a number of brushes with the law.

He stated that in relation to the more expensive watch which was taken by gardai, his cousin Liam Byrne had originally bought it but gave it to Roe because Byrne owed him money. He said that Byrne told him that he paid €45,000 for it.

In relation to the second watch, Roe pointed out that he paid around £10,000 for it from a watch seller in Sheffield.

The property at Windmill Road which was searched by detectives is not where Roe lived and he explained that he left the watches at his cousin Marie Byrne's house because he had been doing a lot of drinking and partying at his own home at the time and was concerned that the items would be stolen.

Documentation

"I asked her to mind them -- I was afraid that I would be robbed. I was on the drink and having lots of parties at the time," Roe said.

Roe claimed that he got the watches valued at Dawson's Jewellers at Dawson Street in Dublin city centre and provided documentation to this effect.

However, barrister Genevieve Coonan, for the State, argued the documentation provided by Roe was falsified and fraudulent.

Detectives from the garda's elite Organised Crime Unit (OCU) told the court they had seized the watches during a search of a home at Windmill Road, Crumlin, on January 8, last year.

A detective sergeant from the OCU told the court nobody was in the house at the time and the gardai were initially seeking "specifically firearms".

The watches were found in watch boxes wrapped in a towel on a shelf in a downstairs airing cupboard.

Two members of the Byrne family arrived and said they had got the watches in America, and they were worth between just $10 and $20 each.

Another detective said in evidence he went to Weir's on Grafton Street on January 10 to get the watches authenticated.

A staff member confirmed they were authentic and that the silver one had been purchased there.

Judge Raymond Groarke said the question was whether he believed Roe owned the two watches and "the answer is a resounding no".

hnews@herald.ie

Opinion

Entertainment News