herald

Sunday 22 October 2017

Feud link probed after slain hitman's brother has throat slit in prison

Midlands prison
Midlands prison

Gardai are investigating whether a savage attack in which a criminal had his throat slit in the Midlands Prison is linked to the historic Crumlin-Drimnagh feud.

The brother of a murdered hitman was continuing to fight for his life last night in a Dublin hospital after being attacked in the Co Laois jail.

Laurence Bryan (36), the brother of slain gangster Gary Bryan, was attacked by up to four inmates in the Midlands Prison on Monday night.

The Herald can reveal that at least two suspects have been identified by prison bosses and gardai are investigating their alleged role in the savage attack.

Punishment

They are close associates and career criminals Dwayne Stacey (30) and Geoffrey Carr (31), both from Crumlin, who are serving sentences of seven and six years respectively for the attempted robbery of the Permanent TSB Bank in Gorey, Co Wexford, in April 2014.

It is understood that they became suspects in the case after prison officers examined CCTV footage.

The duo are understood to be now on a punishment regime in the prison after the shocking attack on the jail's B1 landing and are likely to face arrest.

"All the indications are that this attack was opportunistic and dates back to the deadly Crumlin-Drimnagh feud, which claimed over 16 lives," a source said last night.

Sources have told the Herald that Laurence Bryan had his throat slit and was also stabbed multiple times in the head during the savage attack.

"It is a very, very brutal assault and the injured inmate is currently in a serious condition in hospital," the source said last night.

Dwayne Stacey is one of the inmates suspected to be involved in the attack on the brother of Gary Bryan
Dwayne Stacey is one of the inmates suspected to be involved in the attack on the brother of Gary Bryan

A spokesman for the Irish Prison Service (IPS) confirmed that an inmate had been hospitalised following an assault.

The spokesman could not comment any further, as the IPS does not comment on individual cases.

Laurence Bryan was previously jailed in 2014 after carrying out nine robberies in a week while on crack cocaine.

A former straight-A student, he had no involvement in criminality until his older brother was murdered.

Bryan's first conviction dates back to 2008, but he has since amassed more than 130 convictions, including robbery, criminal damage and possession of knives.

He was last jailed in February, when Dublin Circuit Court heard he relapsed just two weeks after his release from a four-year prison sentence, when he went "off the wall", robbing shops over nine days.

His older brother Gary Bryan was an armed robber and a hitman-for-hire, who worked for the dangerous Brian Rattigan drugs gang before he was brutally murdered himself in front of his shocked girlfriend.

Gary was the chief suspect for murdering both Paul Warren and Wayne Zambra in 2004 and 2006 respectively - crimes that made him a marked man.

He was hit by six bullets from a handgun and died immediately at the scene at Bunting Road, in the Walkinstown area, on September 26, 2006.

The gunman and an accomplice, who escaped in a stolen vehicle, cheered as they made their getaway from the scene.

Terrifying

The two main suspects for this week's horror attack are also extremely well known to gardai and the bank robbery they are serving sentences for was described as "absolutely terrifying".

Staff and customers at the bank were threatened with a black imitation pistol, before Carr and Stacey departed in a Fiat Punto.

A firearm was pointed at the pursuing gardai and an attempt was made to ram their patrol car.

The Punto was later exchanged for a vehicle that was hijacked mid-road in a rural location near Gorey.

The pursuit continued until the raiders met an Alfa Romeo, which they crashed into. Even then Carr attempted to drive off in the Alfa, but was arrested at this point.

Dwayne Stacey was previously jailed for two-and-a-half years in December, 2012, for being the getaway driver and conspiring with others to commit robbery of a Post Office in Drumcondra on October 16, 2009.

He has other convictions for drugs and possession of knives.

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