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Sunday 25 June 2017

Wife of slain 'Fat' Andy Connors left 'suicidal' and broke, court hears

Ann Connors, the wife of ‘Fat’ Andy Connors, appeared before Dun Laoghaire District Court
Ann Connors, the wife of ‘Fat’ Andy Connors, appeared before Dun Laoghaire District Court

The wife of former crime boss 'Fat' Andy Connors says she is suicidal after her husband was murdered and the Criminal Assets Bureau took all her money.

Shortly after being hit for €2.5m by CAB, Ann Connors (41) was caught up with an apparent burglary gang in Leopardstown.

Dun Laoghaire District Court heard Connors is now broke, living on social welfare and having suicidal thoughts.

Three years ago 'Fat' Andy Connors died in her arms after being shot at their home.

He was believed to have had links to a gang responsible for hundreds of burglaries across the country.

A garda said Andy Connors had been involved in organised crime and a criminal gang was behind his killing.

He was buried in a €28,000 gold-plated coffin, with hundreds of thousands worth of jewellery.

Sentencing

His wife was before Dun Laoghaire Court for sentencing after a judge ordered a probation report.

In March, Judge Anne Watkin found Connors, of Boherboy Road, in Saggart, guilty of possession of a 12in-screwdriver and a pair of black gloves for use in a theft or burglary at Leopardstown Avenue, in Leopardstown, on April 19, 2016.

Connors refused to take responsibility for the crime when she met with a probation officer, the court heard, claiming the gloves belonged to a daughter and the screwdriver to a son.

'Fat' Andy Connors
'Fat' Andy Connors

Judge Watkin said she did not accept Connors was unaware of what was happening and believed she was "essentially the driver of the getaway car".

Connors also told the probation service she owns property but was under financial strain and refused to discuss the matter any further.

Aengus McCarthy, defending, said there was a "complexity" to her financial situation.

Judge Watkin said gardai gave evidence Connors' husband was involved in organised crime, both had proceeds seized by the State and there was money in accounts which had not been seized.

In relation to the matter before the court, Mr McCarthy said Connors told him it "wasn't her idea" and was now willing to be forthright with the probation services.

A neighbour of the defendant, retired army social worker Mervyn Ennis, said Connors has been traumatised by her husband's death and had found it "very difficult to get the services to engage with the family".

Mr Ennis said he had written to a number of Government departments looking for help for her.

He said Connors is "a very good mother" but has suffered suicidal thoughts since her husband's death. Her six children have also suffered.

Judge Watkin said she would give Connors another opportunity to be "forthright" with the probation services and adjourned the matter.

Erratic

In his evidence, Garda Dermot Haugh previously said he was off duty and driving southbound on the M50 when he saw a brown Nissan Almera driving in an erratic manner.

He recognised Connors, who was the driver.

Gda Haugh followed the car, which exited the M50 at junction 15. He lost sight of it briefly but saw it again parked in Leopardstown Avenue.

He saw two male passengers from Connors' car walking up a driveway. One had a green balaclava while the second had his face covered by a wool hat. Both had gloves on.

Gda Haugh said they ran back and got into the car when they spotted him.

The car did a U-turn and as it turned out of the estate, a screwdriver was thrown out of the passenger window.

Connors was arrested and taken to Blackrock Garda Station.

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