herald

Saturday 21 October 2017

Meehan given his freedom by appeal judge

The younger brother of Veronica Guerin's killer Brian Meehan will serve every day of a nine-year suspended sentence if he reoffends.

The promise was given to 39-year-old Bradford Meehan by Mr Justice Adrian Hardiman in the Court of Criminal Appeal today where the Director of Public Prosecutions had sought for custodial sentence.

In the Circuit Criminal Court Judge Frank O'Donnell had suspended the nine-year sentence for a series of robberies.

The court had heard that one premises was robbed while Meehan was on bail during which a member of the staff was injured with a knife.

Counsel for the DPP Elva Duffy said the suspended sentence given by the trial judge did not properly balance the matters before it.

The trial judge had deviated from the view of a jail sentence because of the accused's efforts to get himself off drugs. However, the DPP felt that a custodial sentence should be imposed and an entire suspended sentence did not give due balance.

Counsel for Meehan, Luigi Rea, said his client had "ticked all the boxes" to get a suspended sentence. He said people destroyed by drugs did the most stupid things and his client's behaviour had been irrational and disgraceful.

Since those robberies, his client had stayed on the straight and narrow and had "ticked all the boxes of making an effort to be a useful member of society".

His client had addressed other drug users and given lectures on the dangers of drugs.

"If he reoffends, he will do every day of the nine years imposed," Mr Justice Hardiman said. "If Mr Meehan wishes to spend middle age in prison, the court will oblige him."

cmallon@herald.ie

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