A jury at Dublin Circuit Criminal Court has heard how a Securicor van driver, his wife and their two sons were held captive by an armed gang at their home in March 2005.

The man's wife and children were later taken to a remote area in Co Wicklow and he was instructed to collect cash from a Securicor depot and leave it in a pub car park at the Strawberry Beds in Dublin.

Five men have pleaded not guilty to falsely imprisoning Paul Richardson, his wife Maria and their sons Ian and Kevin.

The five have also pleaded not guilty to robbing €2.28m.

Opening the prosecution case, Denis Vaughan Buckley SC said Maria Richardson had answered a knock at the door of the family home in Raheny on the night of 13 March 2005.

Three men pushed their way into the house, one was armed with a handgun and another with a machine gun.

When Maria's husband Paul arrived back at the house with one of their sons, all four family members were placed on a couch and with two armed men on either side of them, a polaroid photo was taken.

Mr Richardson was given this photo alone with a mobile phone and instructions when he went to work next day.

In the meantime, his family had been taken away in a black 4x4 vehicle.

After loading cash into his van at the Securicor depot as normal the following morning, Paul Richardson showed his two co-workers in the van the photo of his family being held hostage.

He then left the bags of cash in a pub car park near the Strawberry Beds.

By that stage his wife and two sons had managed to free themselves from where they had been tied up near Enniskerry, Co Wicklow.

Five men with Dublin addresses have pleaded not guilty to falsely imprisoning the Richardson family and to stealing €2.28m.

The five men are: David Byrne, aged 36, of Old Brazeel Way, Knocksedan, Swords; Niall Byrne, aged 27, of Aughavanagh Road, Crumlin; Mark Farrelly, aged 37, of Moatview Court, Priorswood; Christopher Corcoran, aged 61, of Bayside Boulevard North, Sutton; and Jason Kavanagh, aged 34, of Parslickstown Court, Ladyswell.

The jury was told they will hear forensic evidence and the evidence of over 200 witnesses during this trial which could last up to three months.