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Mobster's lawyer who gave phone to rapist inmate is spared jail

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Joanne Kangley, who once represented John Gilligan, told the court that the prisoner threatened to rape her child

Joanne Kangley, who once represented John Gilligan, told the court that the prisoner threatened to rape her child

Damien Eagers / INM

Joanne Kangley, who once represented John Gilligan, told the court that the prisoner threatened to rape her child

A former solicitor for mob boss John Gilligan, who gave a mobile phone to a notorious sex offender inmate after he threatened to rape her child, has avoided jail.

Joanne Kangley (41), formerly of Bailieborough, Co Cavan, pleaded guilty at Portlaoise Circuit Court to the offence, committed on November 6, 2014. Her 12-month sentence was suspended for five years.

Judge Keenan Johnson heard how Kangley, a mother of two young children, also provided a Sim card and topped up the phone for the prisoner, who was a former client.

Kangley had built up a "fairly high-profile clientele amongst the criminal fraternity", the court heard.

In 2013, she issued a letter for her then-client Gilligan upon his release from jail, warning news outlets that he would not be giving interviews, "not even for a million euro".

The prisoner, who denied receiving the phone and is awaiting a court hearing, was jailed for false imprisonment and raping a woman with implements while her infant child was found wandering in public at the time of the offences.

Fillet

The court had previously heard that Kangley gave the phone to him at Midlands Regional Hospital, where he was a patient, after he threatened her.

"I will f**king fillet you from here to here," he is alleged to have told her.

He also remarked that she had a lovely daughter. "I know all about her," he is claimed to have said. The two were alone in a hospital ward room while prison guards were outside.

The inmate took the phone from her bag but she could not reason with him to return it.

Kangley eventually removed the Sim card and threw the phone on the bed. She was also warned not to speak about the phone.

He told her she knew what would happen to "rats". He also threatened to ruin her by telling gardai about the phone.

In February 2015, he told a prison officer that he had a phone up his rectum that Kangley had given him and information on the phone linked it to her.

At her sentencing yesterday, the judge noted she was "extremely frightened and fearful" of the rapist, who said he had seen pictures of her daughter.

He said the aggravating factors were the serious breach of trust on the part of the accused and that the phone was used to intimidate other parties.

However, he noted that Kangley had given the inmate the phone when she was under 'unbearable stress, duress and fear".