herald

Friday 27 April 2018

Pair on conspiracy to kill charge accused of second murder plot at pub in city

Alan Wilson
Alan Wilson

Two Dublin men charged over an alleged plot to kill a man have had fresh charges brought against them that they conspired to murder "a person or persons unknown" in a Dublin pub.

Neither Alan Wilson nor Joseph Kelly had anything to say to the charges when they were put to them yesterday, a court heard.

Both were remanded in custody for the preparation of books of evidence on all counts.

Two co-accused men had no new charges brought against them and their cases were also adjourned at Cloverhill District Court.

Defence lawyers claimed the new charges were brought at the 11th hour in an "abuse of process" but Judge Victor Blake refused to strike out any of the existing cases.

Mr Wilson (38), of New Street Gardens, Dublin 8, and Mr Kelly (35), of Kilworth Road, Dublin 12 - along with Luke Wilson (23), of Cremona Road, Ballyfermot, and Liam Brannigan (38), of Bride Street, Dublin 8 - were already charged with conspiracy to murder Gary Hanley from the north inner city between September 15 and November 6, last year.

Surveillance

Yesterday, Alan Wilson and Mr Kelly were both further charged with conspiring with each other to murder a person or persons unknown at The Seventy-Four Talbot pub, Talbot Street, between September 11 and 15, 2017.

When Mr Brannigan's case was called, State Solicitor Michael Durkan said he understood the 42 days were up for the service of the book of evidence, but the book was not ready yet.

He asked Judge Blake to put the case back for two weeks.

He said the prosecution was awaiting key proofs - the authorisation of surveillance by three garda superintendents.

Liam Brannigan
Liam Brannigan

Mr Brannigan's barrister, Miriam Delahunt, said there was no consent to "any time whatsoever" being granted and asked Judge Blake to strike the charge out.

"It took almost four months for directions [of the DPP] to be given on a charge that could not have stayed in the district court," she said.

The State was "well aware of the difficulties" and had six weeks to prepare the book of evidence, she added. Mr Brannigan had been in custody since November 13 and the State had been "dragging its heels" in a manner that she could only describe as "an abuse of process", Ms Delahunt said.

Mr Durkan said that of three superintendents, one had delivered the authorisation needed.

He said he hoped the books of evidence would be ready soon.

The other three accused were then called.

Gary Hanley, the alleged target of a murder conspiracy
Gary Hanley, the alleged target of a murder conspiracy

Detective Garda John Rourke, of the Garda Drugs and Organised Crime Bureau, said he further charged Mr Kelly at 11am yesterday, before the court sitting.

He made no reply to the new charge after caution. Mr Durkan said the DPP was directing trial on indictment on the new charge. Mr Kelly's solicitor, David Linehan, said he was not applying for bail but was applying for legal aid, which Judge Blake granted.

The judge asked if Mr Kelly was consenting to appearing by video link on the next date.

"Yeah," Mr Kelly said.

Mr Linehan said Mr Kelly had been in custody since he was arrested on November 6 last year.

"It is accepted that it's a complex case that involves a lot of evidence being gathered. It's also the case that not all the evidence needs to be included in the book of evidence," Mr Linehan said.

He said the preparation of the book was "not an unduly onerous requirement" and the State's failure to comply with that requirement had not been adequately explained.

It had now reached a "critical point" and he asked the judge to strike out the existing case.

Alan Wilson rose briefly to identify himself when his name was called out.

Detective Garda Brian Johnson said he charged him at 11.04am and he also made no reply to the charge after caution.

The DPP also directed trial on indictment, Mr Durkan said.

Aoife O'Halloran BL, for Alan Wilson, asked to clarify if his new charge was to be incorporated into the same book of evidence, or if it was "a standalone charge".

"No, they are all travelling together," Mr Durkan said.

On the existing charge, Alan Wilson had been in custody for a "significant period of time".

This was not satisfactory and the onus was on the State to get the superintendents' authorisation, Ms O'Halloran said.

This was "very easy to discharge", superintendents were very easily located and there should be pressure applied to ensure that this was "done with some expedience".

The case "went down to the wire" for the DPP's directions, which arrived at the 11th hour, she said, and "we find ourselves again at the 11th hour with new charges being proffered".

"This is a tactic being deployed by the State to garner the benefit of another 42 days," Ms O'Halloran said.

It was a "complex and unusual charge" with a large file to be considered, Mr Durkan said. The prosecution would move with "all reasonable haste", he said.

The prosecution had taken the "maximum amount of time at each phase of this prosecution", Ms O'Halloran said.

Judge Blake said the State should make every effort to have the authorisations and the book prepared. Alan Wilson did not apply for bail, and free legal aid was assigned.

Optimistic

In Luke Wilson's case, his solicitor, Matthew De Courcy, said yesterday was the final day of the 42-day time period.

Judge Blake asked Mr Durkan how optimistic he was about the books being ready in a week.

"Two weeks definitely," he replied.

Judge Blake refused to strike out any of the cases, extended the time needed for the service of the books of evidence and adjourned Alan Wilson and Mr Kelly's cases to April 11.

The judge said that while he would not strike out Mr Brannigan or Luke Wilson's cases, he marked them as peremptory against the State, meaning they could be struck out on the next date if the books of evidence were not ready then. Their cases were adjourned to April 18.

Luke Wilson and Joseph Kelly are also charged with possession of a Beretta firearm and 15 rounds of 9mm ammunition with intent to endanger life on November 6. None of the four accused have indicated how they intend to plead to any of the charges.

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