Newspaper for Crossmaglen, South Armagh, Newry and Down.

Cullyhanna cousins deny kidnap and robbery charges

Two Cullyhanna men are to stand trial on a number of charges linked to the kidnap and assault of a taxi driver in November 2016.

Cousins Robert Tasker (26) and 24-year-old Antoin McCooey, both of separate addresses in St. Patrick’s Park,  appeared before Newry Crown Court on Wednesday last where they denied charges of kidnap, robbery, making threats to kill and common assault.

The charges relate to the alleged kidnap and robbery at knifepoint of Dundalk taxi driver Paul Kelly in November last year.  A previous court appearance heard that the two men ordered a taxi from a fast food takeaway in Dundalk to their homes in Cullyhanna.  It is alleged that during the journey, the pair threatened Mr Kelly with a screwdriver and a Stanley knife before robbing him of €120.  The taxi driver begged for his life before another car arrived on the scene and he was able to escape, the court had been told.

At Wednesday’s hearing both Tasker and McCooey pleaded not guilty to all the charges.  They have been remanded on continuing bail with a trial date set for next April.