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Sunday 22 October 2017

Mum kidnapped and left tied up in shed in €660k robbery ordeal, trial told

Jonathan Gill (35) has gone on trial charged with kidnapping Picture: Collins
Jonathan Gill (35) has gone on trial charged with kidnapping Picture: Collins

A man has gone on trial charged with kidnapping a post office worker, his partner and their young baby before robbing more than €600,000 from the man's workplace.

It is the State's case that Jonathan Gill (35) was one of a gang of five who together were involved in holding the family hostage in their own home before moving them to a shed about a 90-minute drive away.

The couple were threatened with what they believed to be guns and tied up with cable ties.

Mr Gill, of Malahide Road, Swords, Dublin, has pleaded not guilty at Dublin Circuit Criminal Court to falsely imprisoning Warren Nawn, Jean Marie Matthews and their 10-week-old baby in Drogheda, Co Louth, between August 1 and August 2, 2011.

Bullet

He has also pleaded not guilty to robbery of €661,125 at An Post, West Street, Drogheda, on August 2, 2011.

Vincent Heneghan SC, prosecuting, said Mr Nawn and Ms Matthews were watching television while their baby girl was asleep beside them when there was a knock at the door.

Mr Nawn answered and a man with a scarf on his face threw a pizza box at him before tackling him to the ground.

A second man then raided their home and duct tape was put on Mr Nawn's mouth and eyes before he was tied up.

The men quizzed Mr Nawn about his workplace while threatening him with what appeared to be a gun.

Ms Matthews was also threatened and told she would have a bullet in the back of her head.

The couple were separated with one of them being taken into the kitchen while the other was left in the sitting room.

They were detained there for about two hours before Mr Nawn was put into the boot of his own car and Ms Matthews and the baby in the front.

The family were driven for about 90 minutes before they were put in a shed.

Mr Heneghan said the jury would hear evidence that the couple were continually threatened in an aggressive way and had guns pointed at them.

At 3.30am the baby became very upset because she needed to be fed. A litre of milk was eventually bought for her and the family were kept in the shed until around 9am the next day.

Mr Nawn was then handed his An Post uniform that the raiders had taken from his home.

He was also given a phone and told to drive to work. He had earlier been told to call his boss to inform him he would be late.

"He followed their instructions because he was put in fear," Mr Heneghan told the jury.

He said Mr Nawn met with his boss and told him that his partner and child had been kept and were being told they would be shot. He was instructed to get whatever cash there was in the post office at the time.

Mr Heneghan said a cash drop was due and 15 minutes later that money was delivered.

The raiders spoke to Mr Nawn's boss, and Ms Matthews was also instructed to call the man and tell him a gun was being held to her head.

Mr Heneghan said Mr Nawn was then instructed to take the cash and deliver it to a specific location. He was then told to drive on further, break up the phone the raiders had given him and throw it into the River Boyne.

Remote

The jury heard that there would be evidence that Mr Nawn's boss was told not to do anything for 30 minutes after Mr Nawn left but he ultimately alerted the gardai who were there when the complainant returned to the post office.

Mr Heneghan told the jury that in the meantime Ms Matthews had been put in a car and transferred to a remote location. She was tied to an old bed in a burned-out shed and left there with her baby.

She managed to free herself and made her way to an industrial estate where staff called gardai. Ms Matthews was taken to hospital were she was treated having been struck two or three times during her kidnapping.

The trial continues before Judge Elma Sheahan and a jury. It is expected to last four weeks.

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