Man told to expect jail for imprisoning family

A Strabane man who imprisoned a Limavady family in their home has been warned he will get a “significant custodial sentence”.

Simon Timoney, of Patrick Street in the town, pleaded guilty to attempted robbery, aggravated burglary and four charges of false imprisonment.

The 37-year-old also admitted assaulting a man at an address on Roemill Road, Limavady, on October 22, 2010.

Derry Crown Court heard yesterday that a 61-year-old man, his wife and two adult children were in the house on the night of the incident, while a son-in-law had just left to collect something from his own home.

The family heard a noise coming from the hall a short time later and thought their son-in-law had returned. However, when the woman went out to the hall she saw two men in balaclavas.

The court heard the woman was forced into the living room of her home and the family were forced onto their knees.

The daughter was then tied up with cable ties.

The 37-year-old began to search the house and at one point the other masked man told the family if they did not tell them where the safe was he would “break every bone in your body”.

A short time after this, the son-in-law returned to the house and he had a struggle with Timoney before restraining him. The other masked man was able to escape from the scene.

Timoney was arrested and interviewed by police and claimed he was “under duress” to take part in the incident by people he believed had paramilitary connections.

Defence counsel Stephen Mooney said his client’s role was “to be muscle and now he is the sole individual in the dock to carry the can”.

He added Timoney has “abject and utter remorse” for taking part in the crime.

Adjourning sentencing until next week, Judge Piers Grant warned Timoney a “significant custodial sentence” would be imposed.