| 9.4°C Dublin

Man who helped cartel in feud hit has jail term increased

Close

Martin Aylmer (picture) and murder victim Michael Barr

Martin Aylmer (picture) and murder victim Michael Barr

Martin Aylmer (picture) and murder victim Michael Barr

A man who helped the Kinahan crime group commit a "cold-blooded murder" has been given an extra two years in jail after his original prison sentence was deemed too lenient.

Martin Aylmer (33) bought six pre-paid mobile phones in the run-up to the murder of Michael Barr (35) at the Sunset House pub in Dublin's north inner city.

The Special Criminal Court heard that one of the phones was found beside a burnt-out car used as the getaway vehicle in Mr Barr's murder on April 25, 2016.

Aylmer was captured on CCTV footage buying the phone in Dublin's Ilac Shopping Centre two days before the shooting.

He told gardai that he believed the phones would be used for drug trafficking.

He pleaded guilty to participating in, or contributing to, activity intending to facilitate the commission of a serious offence by a criminal organisation or any of its members, in what was believed to have been the first prosecution of its kind.

Sentencing him to three years and nine months in jail, with the final year suspended, Mr Justice Tony Hunt said it could not be established that Aylmer knew he was contributing to a murder and there was no evidence on his part of moving firearms.

However, the presiding judge at the non-jury court said it must have been apparent to Aylmer that he was assisting in some serious criminal activity.

Unduly

Aylmer, who had two previous convictions for minor public order matters, told gardai that he believed the phones would be used for drug trafficking.

The Director of Public Prosecutions successfully sought a review of Aylmer's sentence on grounds it was "unduly lenient", and the Court of Appeal yesterday accordingly re-sentenced him to six years in prison with the final 15 months suspended.

Close

Michael Barr

Michael Barr

Michael Barr

Giving judgment, Ms Justice Una Ni Raifeartaigh said full responsibility for the murder should not be laid at Aylmer's door, but the fact that he provided assistance to a gang that committed murder was relevant, and was an aggravating factor.

She said Aylmer - of Casino Park, Marino, Dublin 3 - was in a "different situation" from the one which would have pertained if he had furnished precisely the same assistance, and the organisation used his assistance to supply drugs.

Ms Justice Ni Raifeartaigh said the following factors were relevant in assessing culpability for this offence: the nature of the assistance given; the nature of the criminal organisation and the consequences of the assistance, which may include the commission of a crime which the accused did not "specifically foresee".

She said the sentencing court erred in fixing the headline sentence at five years, before a reduction for Aylmer's mitigating factors was applied.

The appropriate headline sentence was eight years, she said, having regard to the acts of Aylmer's assistance and the fact those acts facilitated a murder.

The court also considered the need for general deterrence.

Eamonn Cumberton (32), of Mountjoy Street, Dublin 7, was found guilty of murdering Mr Barr following a trial at the Special Criminal Court, and was jailed for life in January 2018.