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Saturday 17 November 2018

'Gardai should not wake me at 4am with warrant', says convicted criminal

Dean Russell spoke to Joe Duffy (pictured) on Liveline
Dean Russell spoke to Joe Duffy (pictured) on Liveline

A man with history of criminality rang RTE's Liveline yesterday to brand an early morning visit by gardai with an arrest warrant as "ludicrous".

Gardai arrived to the Dublin home of Dean Russell (49) in the early hours of Wednesday morning with an arrest warrant for a speeding charge.

Mr Russell told RTE Radio One's Liveline he refused to open the door to gardai and described the operation as a "complete waste of manpower".

He said he thought "someone was dead" because of the garda presence in his garden, saying it reminded him of his brother Anthony's murder 10 years ago.

"I had the pleasure of being woken up at five to four in the morning by five guards," he told the radio programme.

"They had a warrant to arrest me for speeding. I didn't open the door. I refused. I thought it was an awful time of the morning to wake me and my kids up.

"There is a procedure to execute warrants and that's not it. I don't think that's a proper example to be setting [to other guards]. Why they decided to do this, I don't know."

Mr Russell admitted he had not shown up for a court hearing on the speeding charge and said he was "waiting for the proper procedure of the arrest warrant".

Humiliated

Broadcaster Joe Duffy pointed out that according to District Court rules, arrest warrants "may be issued or executed on any day, at any time".

Mr Russell told the programme he escaped from the back of the house, but went to the garda station the following day to deal with the issue.

"In total there were 12 gardai, from the Armed Response Unit as well, in the garden," he said.

He added: "I know the guards have to do their job but there is a procedure in place and common sense should prevail.

"It's ludicrous. Could they not have come at four o'clock in the day? I'm not opening that door to be brought to a police station and humiliated."

In 2013, Mr Justice George Birmingham granted the Criminal Assets Bureau (CAB) orders in relation to properties belonging to Mr Russell because they were the proceeds of crime.

The properties were his four-bedroom home at Riverside Park, Clonshaugh, Dublin, an apartment at Lymewood Mews, Northwood, Santry, Dublin, as well as an apartment in southern Spain.

In affidavits, Mr Russell had opposed the CAB application and claimed the properties were acquired as a result of him working in various enterprises including cleaning windows, selling furniture, a taxi business and car sales.

In his ruling, the judge said Mr Russell had access to "very significant amounts of funds... quite in excess of any funds generated by legitimate activities he was involved in".

He had 12 previous convictions, the most serious of which was in 1991 in connection with a post office robbery.

After Joe Duffy referred to the CAB judgment and previous convictions, Mr Russell said he "hasn't been in trouble in years".

"At the end of the day, I think I'm a good person," he added.

"I'm chairman of the local football club. I do a lot for the area. I have a good community."

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