herald

Tuesday 25 September 2018

Mum jailed after being caught with hidden gun

Niamh Fitzpatrick was jailed
Niamh Fitzpatrick was jailed

A Dublin mother who told gardai she had a gun for her own protection has been jailed for five years with the final two suspended.

Gda Michelle Fitzpatrick told a sentencing hearing last month that colleagues had served Niamh Fitzpatrick (39) forms notifying her of a threat to her life.

Gda Fitzpatrick agreed with Keith Spencer, defending, that there had been a threat against Fitzpatrick, but it had expired.

Mr Spencer submitted to Judge Melanie Greally that his client had been abducted and suffered a violent attack from a person who has since died.

Counsel said Fitzpatrick suffered from "profound post-traumatic stress disorder" as a result of the violence.

Scrutiny

Mother-of-one Fitzpatrick, of O'Rahilly House, Ringsend, pleaded guilty at Dublin Circuit Criminal Court to possessing a Smith & Wesson revolver in an air vent at her home on February 23 last year.

She has 21 previous convictions, mostly for minor road traffic offences.

Judge Greally said yesterday that Fitzpatrick's explanation for how she came into possession of the gun "did not stand up to scrutiny".

She said a number of reports set out in "considerable detail" the many aspects of Fitzpatrick's history, "the traumatic incidents which have shaped her life and the damaging alliances which she had formed over her adult life".

The judge said she was taking into account the fact that Fitzpatrick had "taken steps" to address her heroin addiction and the fact that she had a number of mental health issues.

Judge Greally sentenced Fitzpatrick to five years in prison and suspended the final two years on condition that she remain under 18 months of probation supervision on her release.

Gda Fitzpatrick told John Fitzgerald, prosecuting at the earlier sentence hearing, that she got a warrant to search the defendant's address on foot of an investigation into the sale and supply of drugs in the area.

She said she and colleagues encountered Fitzpatrick on the way to search her home.

Fitzpatrick admitted she had heroin on her person. She also admitted having a gun in a vent in the wall in her sitting room.

Gda Fitzpatrick said she and colleagues seized the gun, which had one round of ammunition in its chamber, a number of mobile phones and €4,200 worth of heroin.

The garda told Mr Fitzgerald that the gun was "in very good condition".

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