A MAN has been convicted at Dublin Circuit Criminal Court of holding a woman prisoner while her home was ransacked for money.
Darren Doody (42), of Oriel Street, Dublin 1, had pleaded not guilty to falsely imprisoning Ashling Heneghan at Rochford Park in Kill, Co Kildare, on October 29, 2006.
Doody was found guilty after a three-day trial and 40 minutes deliberation by the jury. He was remanded on bail by Judge Patrick McCartan until sentencing next month.
Ms Heneghan told the trial she lived in the house with her then boyfriend, William Ward, who was in Spain at the time. She was getting ready to go out and meet some friends when she heard a noise at her letterbox and investigated.
She saw a wrench lying at her front door and brought it inside before going upstairs.
She told prosecuting counsel Tara Burns, that she was in her bedroom when she heard people running up the stairs.
Four men wearing balaclavas and scarves came into her room and she was either forced to the floor or fell down. She said they were looking for money and "turned the place upside down" and overturned the couches.
One man, armed with a screwdriver, stayed with her for most of the time while the others came in and out of the room. She told them she kept money in her jewellery box but one of the men replied that wasn't the money they were looking for. She then told them about another stash of money in a wardrobe.
The men bound her hands with the cord of a phone charger and tied her legs with a pair of pyjama bottoms as well as putting a shirt over her head. After they fled she got herself free and called her boyfriend and the gardai.
Detective Sgt Cormac Brennan gave evidence that he spotted a Skoda Octavia on the M50 motorway after the incident. When he pulled it over he found Doody in the driver's seat and three male passengers.
Four sets of car keys were also found including one for a BMW 5 series car which matched those of the victim's live-in boyfriend. Ms Heneghan told the jury that after the raiders left she noticed the BMW keys were gone.