herald

Wednesday 11 December 2019

Telly crime show inspired man to poison colleague

Thomas Lynch was jailed for attempting to poison a
colleague at data company Iron Mountain
Thomas Lynch was jailed for attempting to poison a colleague at data company Iron Mountain

A man who attempted to poison a colleague with a lethal chemical element after he heard of the substance on a TV show has been jailed for a year.

Thomas Lynch pleaded guilty to the attempted poisoning of Owen Sheehan on May 23, 2018 at Iron Mountain Data Management company in Carrigtwohill.

Cork Circuit Criminal Court heard that on May 23, 2018, Lynch got a chamois cloth and placed the substance Thallium on the car door handle of his co-worker Owen Sheehan.

The pair had had a workplace disagreement at Iron Mountain data management company in Carrigtwohill, Co Cork.

Death

In extreme cases death can be caused by swallowing Thallium. Arising out of its use over the years for murder, Thallium has gained the nicknames 'The Poisoner's Poison' and 'Inheritance Powder'.

Detective Garda Cormac Ryan told the court that Mr Lynch had put an unknown quantity of the substance on the car handle of Mr Sheehan's car at his place of work.

He said that Mr Lynch had told his fellow employees that he planned to put a liquid on Mr Sheehan's car which could cause him death in 24 hours.

Mr Lynch was observed going to the side of the car wearing gloves and with a cloth. Another employee reported his actions to his superior. Mr Sheehan told the court that he tried to wash the substance off.

Gardai were called in and a search warrant was obtained for Mr Lynch's home in Lisgoold East, Leamlara, Midleton, Co Cork. No poison was found at the remote property where Lynch lives alone.

Det Garda Ryan said that when Lynch was arrested, he directed gardai to Ballinaclash Woods, 10 minutes from his home. When they went into the forest, Mr Lynch took them to a hole in the bark of a tree. Gardai found a bottle containing the substance wrapped up in cotton wool.

It was sent to the Forensic Science Laboratory for analysis where it was found to be Thallium. Mr Lynch told gardai that he imported a vial of the substance from Italy for €70 to €80, having watched a programme called Unsolved Crimes. He stated that he and Sheehan had had a disagreement over the breaking of a pallet truck.

Judge Sean O'Donnabhain was told that Lynch was a native of Tralee, Co Kerry who lived alone in a remote part of Leamlara.

He was fired from his workplace of over a decade on the day of the incident. However, he is now employed in an undisclosed location.

Det Garda Ryan said that the substance was "highly toxic". However, the substance is only lethal if ingested or swallowed.

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