herald

Wednesday 22 January 2020

'I would have killed the b******' grandad on gun charges said, court told

Coolock Garda Station, where charges were put to Mr Little
Coolock Garda Station, where charges were put to Mr Little

A grandfather accused of having a handgun with intent to endanger life told gardai "had you given me another hour, I would have killed the b*****d that killed him", a court has heard.

Stephen Little (46) said "I have lost my marriage and my son" when he was arrested after driving a car into a garda Emergency Response Unit (ERU) vehicle, it is alleged.

Dublin District Court heard organised crime detectives found the weapon in a second car that was intercepted nearby during the incident.

Judge Alan Mitchell refused bail and remanded Mr Little in custody.

Mr Little, from Kilbarron Avenue, Kilmore, Dublin 5, is charged with possession of a Grand Power G9 semi-automatic pistol at Lein Park, Harmonstown, Dublin, on September 14. He is also charged with having it with intent to endanger life.

Detective Garda Redmond O'Leary, of the Drugs and Organised Crime Bureau, said the accused's reply to both charges was "no comment" when they were put to him at Coolock Garda Station.

Objecting to bail, he cited the nature and seriousness of the charges.

They arose from a garda stop-and-search of an Audi A4.

Gardai became aware that a north Dublin organised crime gang (OCG) and its associates were in control of an Audi A4 that was parked at the junction of Lein Park and Harmonstown Road, he alleged.

The accused was in the company of two members of an OCG in another car, a Toyota Avensis, Det Gda O'Leary said.

It was alleged Mr Little was driving the Avensis that travelled from Hanover Street East and Pearse House in the city centre to Lein Park.

One alleged member of the gang got out of the Avensis and entered the Audi, getting into the driver's seat and retrieving the key from the wheel.

Gardai made an intervention and found the firearm under the passenger seat, the court heard.

The accused then drove the Avensis at high speed into the garda vehicle, causing extensive damage and injuring a number of gardai.

When arrested, the accused said: "Had you given me another hour, I would have killed the b*****d that killed him. I have lost my marriage and my son."

Balaclavas and a full canister of petrol were also found in the Audi, Det Gda O'Leary said.

The DPP directed trial on indictment at the Special Criminal Court.

Applying for bail, defence solicitor Michael Hanahoe said his client would abide by bail conditions.

The evidence was that the accused drove someone to a location and that person got into another car where the articles were found. It was not alleged the accused was in actual possession of them, Mr Hanahoe said.

Mr Little was a grandfather and was anxious to be with his family at this time of year.

The accused had been released without charge after his initial arrest, the court heard.

The judge refused bail and remanded the accused in custody to December 27.

Safety

The judge recommended Mr Little is transferred from Cloverhill to Mountjoy Prison "for safety reasons", at the request of the defence.

Edward McDonnell was also before the court charged over the same incident.

Mr McDonnell, formerly from Tallaght but now of Waterside Apartments, The Quay, New Ross, Co Wexford, had already been charged with possession of the gun.

Yesterday, he was further charged with having the weapon with intent to endanger life.

Detective Garda Ronan Doolin said he made no reply after caution.

The DPP was directing trial on indictment on both charges, Det Gda Doolin said.

Asked by the judge if the case would be sent for trial to the ordinary court, the garda replied that it would be dealt with in the Special Criminal Court.

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