Man sentenced to 15 years over €2.2m robbery and kidnap

Monday 13 January 2014 23.22
The Richardson family were held at gunpoint as part of a robbery in 2005
The Richardson family were held at gunpoint as part of a robbery in 2005

A 39-year-old Dublin man has been sentenced to 15 years in jail for his part in the kidnapping of a Securicor worker and his family, and the robbery of €2.28m.

Jason Kavanagh, of Corduff Avenue in Blanchardstown, was the only person convicted by a jury in December after a 49-day trial.

The jury failed to reach a verdict on two of his co-accused and a third was acquitted.

Kavanagh was part of an armed kidnap gang that burst into the family home of Paul Richardson in Raheny, Dublin, on the night of 13 March 2005.

The gang took Mr Richardson's wife and their two teenage sons into the Dublin Mountains and held them at gunpoint overnight. 

Other gang members held Mr Richardson at gunpoint at his home until the next morning when he was told to go to work and deliver the cash to a drop-off point.

The cash was dropped at a car park in Dublin and was never recovered.

The trial had heard evidence that Kavanagh was linked to the kidnapping through telephone traffic and DNA found on a pillow case, which had been used by one of the gang as a makeshift balaclava.

At the Dublin Circuit Criminal Court this afternoon Judge Martin Nolan said Kavanagh had taken part in a serious crime, which had been well thought out and executed with military precision.

"These were serious professional criminals. They knew what they wanted and they knew how to go about it. It was at the very highest end of criminal behaviour", the judge said.

He said Kavanagh would have known the effects of what he did on the Richardson family were extreme and that what he did on the night was extremely serious.

The judge paid tribute to the Richardson family for their "courage and fortitude" in giving evidence to the trial.

He said the ordeal had greatly affected Mr Richardson and his family. It was clear from victim impact statements that Mr Richardson had difficulty returning to work. Both his sons were greatly affected and his wife had "a lot of burdens placed on her", the judge said.

He also paid tribute to the gardaí for their "tenacity and diligence" in the case. 

Defence counsel had asked the judge to take into consideration that a minimum use of force was used against the family once they had forced their way into the Richardson home.

The court was told Kavanagh played an active role in the upbringing of his children, was heavily involved in fundraising in his area, and had been an accomplished amateur boxer, winning titles for Leinster.

He had 25 previous convictions but these were not for serious offences.

The judge agreed that his criminal record was "not too serious" and that Kavanagh probably had his good points and was good to his family.

However, the judge said the crime he was involved in was a serious and cold-blooded crime pursued to obtain a large amount of money and it succeeded.

"I have to take account of the crime and it seems to me it was at the very highest end of criminal behaviour. There was a threat of extreme violence and if he thought about it, he would know that the effects of what he did on the family were extreme and he would be in no doubt that what he did on the night was extremely serious".

He sentenced him to 15 years but ordered he be given credit for time already served in custody.

Afterwards, Mr Richardson said the ordeal had changed their lives forever and they could never really leave it behind.