herald

Monday 10 December 2018

Net closes in on Douglas gunman as cartel 'foot soldier' admits his role

David ‘Daithi’ Douglas was shot dead in July 2016
David ‘Daithi’ Douglas was shot dead in July 2016

The net is closing in on the south inner city thug who gardai believe was the actual trigger man in the gruesome 2016 murder of David 'Daithi' Douglas by the Kinahan cartel.

Sources have revealed that the cartel is no longer providing funds for the on-the-run hitman, who is suspected of being mostly based in the UK since he fled the country in the aftermath of the murder.

"Gardai are hopeful that he will finally be arrested in the coming months, and it should be easier now that his funds have run out," a senior source said.

"A European Arrest Warrant is in place for this individual and when it is executed he will be the fourth person to be brought before the courts in relation to this murder."

Runner

The revelations emerged as cartel "foot soldier" Nathan Foley (20), of Rosary Road, Maryland, yesterday appeared at a sentencing hearing at the Special Criminal court.

Evidence was given that he was a "runner" and a "foot soldier" for the criminal organisation and was friendly with a teenage associate of one of the main organisers.

Foley admitted last month to participating in or contributing to activity intending to facilitate the commission by a criminal organisation or any of its members of a serious offence, namely the murder of Mr Douglas at Bridgefoot Street in Dublin 8 between July 1 and July 4, 2016.

Mr Douglas (55) was shot six times as he took a meal break at the counter in his partner's shop, Shoestown, on Bridgefoot Street in the south inner city, on the afternoon of July 1, 2016.

Frederick 'Fat Freddie' Thompson (37), of Loreto Road, Maryland, Dublin 8, was found guilty of Mr Douglas's murder in August this year and sentenced to the mandatory term of life imprisonment.

It has emerged that Foley was working directly for 'Fat Freddie', having been recruited by a close teenage associate of the mobster.

‘Fat Freddie’ Thompson was jailed for his role in the killing
‘Fat Freddie’ Thompson was jailed for his role in the killing

Last month, Gareth Brophy (24), of no fixed abode but originally from the south inner city, was charged with the murder of Mr Douglas and remanded in custody.

However, sources said that the manhunt in relation to a fourth suspect in the case is very much "alive and ongoing".

Foley will be sentenced on January 25 in relation to his role in the Douglas murder, which is part of a major investigation being carried out by Kevin Street gardai.

The offence to which he has pleaded guilty is contrary to organised crime legislation brought in by Section 72 of the Criminal Justice Act 2006.

The maximum sentence for the offence is 15 years in prison.

Foley has 32 previous convictions, which include possession of a mobile phone in prison, criminal damage and public order offences.

He was sentenced to three years in prison for having €8,000 of cocaine in June 2016 and will serve this sentence until March 26 next year.

Foley has been held in the so-called "cartel wing" of Mountjoy Prison where he has mainly associated with other foot soldiers.

He has also regularly updated his Facebook account over the past year despite spending that time on remand over the Douglas murder.

One image, posted from his jail cell, shows what appears to be a cannabis joint, while he also posted a number of images of himself standing in front of his cell door.

Yesterday's sentencing hearing heard that Foley drove one of the cars used in planning the murder and was involved in setting the getaway cars on fire.

The court heard that Foley was a friend of Thompson's teenage associate and that "his societal connections with the principal actor in the drama" was how he became involved in serious organised crime.

Foley drove one of the four cars used during the murder of Mr Douglas.

He also scouted around the area before the murder, put a petrol can into the Mercedes getaway car, which was burnt out after the murder, and bought two phones which were later found in that car.

He dropped the gunman and Thompson off at a restaurant in Dublin city centre later that night and afterwards joined them there.

Yesterday, Mr Justice Tony Hunt commented that Foley might not have been the general but was perhaps more a "foot soldier out at the front line", adding that he was performing an important task and there was no getting away from that.

Earlier, Detective Sergeant Paul Murphy summarised the facts of the case.

Planning

Under cross-examination, Paul Greene SC put it to Det Sgt Murphy that his client's role was as a facilitator and he was not in the "front rank of planning and strategising".

The witness replied that Foley was not the main instigator but he certainly had a main role in partaking in the event, agreeing that he had played an active role on the day and at times afterwards.

"He certainly would have been a runner for the main organiser in the particular organisation," said Det Sgt Murphy.

Mr Greene put it to the witness that one psychiatrist had given evidence that Foley had a mental disability and this could be seen from the "limited tasks" undertaken by his client in this event, such as parking up the getaway car with a lack of skill and leaving the parking ticket in the car.

"You're suggesting he made simple mistakes. Everyone made mistakes, not just Mr Foley," replied the witness.

Mr Justice Hunt interjected, saying: "Not a great level of competence was made here."

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