Jury in Limerick trial told 'criminal associates' of defendants will give evidence

Three men charged with aggravated burglary and false imprisonment

David Hurley

Reporter:

David Hurley

Email:

david.hurley@limerickleader.ie

Jury in Limerick trial told 'criminal associates' of defendants will give evidence

The trial at Limerick Circuit Court could last up to six weeks

A JURY has been told they will hear evidence from criminal associates of  three men who have gone on trial in connection with two aggravated burglaries in County Limerick more than four years ago.

When arraigned at Limerick Circuit Court on Wednesday, Patrick Roche, aged 52, of Kilcronan Close, Clondalkin, Dublin; his son Philip Roche, aged 24, also of Kilcronan Close, Clondalkin and Alan Freeman, aged 37, of Pearse Park, Tipperary Town each pleaded not guilty to a charge of aggravated burglary relating to an incident at Sunville House, Pallasgreen on April 16, 2012.

Further charges were put to the defendants this Thursday alleging that they falsely imprisoned Gerard Garvey, his wife Ann and three of their children after entering their family home at around 10pm.

In his opening address at Limerick Circuit Court, Shane Costelloe SC, prosecuting, said it is the State case that all three men were “directly involved” in the aggravated burglary during which a significant amount of cash was taken.

He added it is the prosecution case that the intruders were armed with a sawn-off shotgun, a baseball bat and a sledge hammer.

Patrick Roche and Philip Roche have also pleaded not guilty to falsely imprisoning three elderly siblings – William, Nora and Christina Creed – during a separate aggravated burglary at a farmhouse at Ballyluddy, Pallasgreen on May 31, 2012.

It is alleged they were armed with an iron bar and a large kitchen knife and that “actual violence” was perpetrated on the pensioners during the incident.

Mr Costelloe told the jury they will hear evidence during the trial from two named individuals who he described as “erstwhile criminal associates of the three men”.

One, he said, was previously prosecuted in relation to the incident at Sunville House while the other was prosecuted in relation to the incident at the Creed family home.

”Both had roles in one or other of the offences,” he said.

The jury of seven men and five women also heard evidence from a garda mapper this Thursday.

The trial continues before Judge John Hannan.