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Jonathan Gill appears in court charged in connection with tiger kidnapping

Jonathan Gill
Jonathan Gill
Jonathan Gill
Jonathan Gill
Jonathan Gill
Jonathan Gill
Jonathan Gill
Jonathan Gill
Jonathan Gill
Jonathan Gill

A man accused of taking part in a tiger kidnapping of a family has succeeded in having his bail conditions relaxed “so he can live a normal life”.

Jonathan Gill (38) is accused of abducting an An Post worker and his family and forcing the victim to take €661,125 from his work. The family, including a ten month old baby, were held at gunpoint overnight.

Mr Gill, a father-of-two of Malahide Road, Coolock, Dublin is charged with falsely imprisoning post office worker Warren Nawn (37), his partner Jean Marie Matthews (36), and their daughter in Drogheda between August 1 and 2, 2011. He is also charged with stealing cash from the post office.

He has yet to enter a plea but Dublin Circuit Criminal C heard today that he “fiercely denies the charges.”

The bail hearing heard a masked gang went to the family's home in Co Louth dressed as parcel delivery men. The family were taken to a farm yard and held overnight.

At 8 am the father was given his An Post uniform and told to go the post office on West Street in Drogheda and take the money. He was directed via mobile phone to drop the cash at the side of a motorway before disposing of the phone.

James Dwyer BL, prosecuting, told Judge Melanie Greally that during the abduction there was no food for the family, including the baby. It is the State's case that Mr Gill went to the shop to buy milk for the baby and was caught on CCTV. A carton of milk was later found at the scene.

The court was told Mr Gill's car was seen in a convoy going to the family's house. A co-accused's was also seen in the convoy and his DNA was found on a pizza box at the scene it is alleged.

Mr Gill was granted bail on strict conditions after being charged in 2013. The court ordered him to sign on twice daily at Pearse Street Garda Station and keep a 10 pm curfew.

Gardaí had opposed bail due to the seriousness of the charges and the belief that Mr Gill still had access to the stolen money.

Today Dean Kelly BL, defending, asked the court to relax the signing on and curfew provisions so that Mr Gill could “live a normal life.”

Counsel said Mr Gill's son was training to be jockey in the UK but would be home for the summer and his client would like to be able to go for a drink with him without worrying about getting home in time.

Counsel also asked the court to allow Mr Gill to sign on once a day to make it easier for him to work. He conceded his client was not presently employed.

The court was initially told Mr Gill wanted to relax his bail conditions so he could do a training course in Cavan. However he had since decided against doing this course as “he does not want to be a celebrity suspect” with gardaí calling to the course everyday to check on him.

Gardaí objected to a change of bail conditions but Judge Greally agreed to partially relax them. She said Mr Gill must sign on twice a day on four days every week but can sign on once for the other three. She also extended his curfew until 11pm.

Mr Gill is due to stand trial in February 2017.