herald

Monday 20 October 2014

Parents' horror as tiger gang kidnaps 10-week-old baby

Gardai are today hunting a Dublin gang behind the sickening kidnap of a newborn baby.

The gang escaped with €500,000 after taking the 10-week-old tot and her mother at gunpoint from their home.

Warren Nawn (35), his partner Jean Marie Matthews (34) and their baby daughter Ella, were targeted by a gang of up to five men at their home in Drogheda, Co Louth.

A terrified Jean Marie and her baby were held hostage for 14 hours until An Post employee Mr Nawn had taken the cash from the town's main post office and dropped it at a pre-arranged location at around 1pm yesterday.

One hundred gardai have now been placed on the investigation against the psychotic gang who terrorised the young family.

Justice Minister Alan Shatter has also demanded a report into the country's latest Tiger raid.

Established protocols were not followed during the tiger raid which has led to the Justice Minister demanding a report into the tiger kidnapping.

Postal workers are told not to hand over cash to distressed workers who are the victims of tiger kidnappings

Minister Shatter said: "Based on initial information I have received, I have asked the Garda authorities to let me have a detailed report on the circumstances surrounding the incident including, in particular, whether agreed procedures for dealing with this sort of incident were followed."

Vicious

He added: "I deplore the kidnapping of people and the subsequent robbery at a post office in Drogheda. This is one of the most vicious forms of crime and our sympathies go out to the victims."

The family's nightmare began after 10pm on Monday when two men burst into their home in Forest Park in the northern part of Drogheda town.

The men, who were masked and armed with an automatic weapon, ordered Mr Nawn and his fiance Jean Marie Matthews into a room in the house where they were gagged and blindfolded. Their 10-week-old baby girl was also held by the gang who are understood to have had the family under surveillance for weeks.

At around 1am, the raiders brought the terrified family in their car to an unknown location where they were kept overnight.

Gardai believe this may have been a shed in west Dublin.

Yesterday morning, Mr Nawn drove to work as usual at the post office on West Street.

He told staff his family were being held under duress and that he needed to collect the cash.

Gardai were alerted to the incident shortly after and a comprehensive response team was put in place involving local and national units.

Mr Nawn drove back in the direction of Dublin along the M1 and it was at a point along this route that the cash was left for the gang.

Once the transaction was completed, Ms Matthews and her baby were released unharmed at Damastown, Dublin 15, on the Tyrrelstown to Clonee Road.

Gardai yesterday discovered the Nawns' silver Opel Corsa burnt out at the Summerseat housing estate in nearby Clonee, Co Meath.

A number of specialised garda units, including the Organised Crime Unit, are investigating yesterday's abduction and robbery which was one of almost a dozen tiger kidnappings in Ireland this year.

hnews@herald.ie

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