THE sentencing of a man found guilty of his part in a ‘failed’ tiger kidnapping in Limerick has been adjourned as he was bound to the peace under a suspended sentence when he committed this offence.
There was heightened security in Limerick Circuit Court on Friday last, with up to 15 members of the Armed Support Unit present, when Zachary Coughlan Ryan, 34, formerly of Cathedral Place, was due to be sentenced. However, Judge Carroll Moran was forced to postpone sentencing as Coughlan Ryan received a three-year sentence, with the final two years suspended, from Cork Circuit Criminal Court in November 2011 for offences dating back four and a half years previously.
This October, he was found guilty by a jury of the false imprisonment of two men, where he was a member of a gang that tried to extort €500,000 from the family of a post mistress in Garryowen in August 2012. However, State prosecutor John O’Sullivan told the court that their attempts to do so were “wholly and completely unsuccessful”. Coughlan Ryan was one of three assailants who bound and gagged the two victims and held them captive.
The victims, Stephen Cusack, whose mother is a post mistress in Garryowen, and his friend Niall Reddan testified in the case, but declined to give victim impact statements.
Brendan Nix, SC, asked the court why so many gardai were present for the case. “What are they going to do to my client if he attempts to run? Shoot him?” His client, who has 22 previous convictions, took to the witness box and read out a statement written on the back of a burger box, saying that he did not recognise the authority of the court. He is due to appear before Galway court this Wednesday for the consideration of the activation of the suspended sentence, before being returned for the finalisation of the case in Limerick.