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Friday 23 February 2018

Feared hutch associate 'Buda' behind bars ... but due back out in just days

Jason 'Buda' Molyneaux
Jason 'Buda' Molyneaux

One of Dublin's most feared criminals was behind bars last night - but is expected to be back on the streets on bail within days.

Jason 'Buda' Molyneaux (26) - who has 122 previous convictions - was yesterday handed a nine-month jail sentence after he was caught driving without insurance as well as possessing alprazolam tablets.

Molyneaux is an associate of the Hutch mob and has previously been quizzed by gardai investigating the gruesome killing of Michael 'Mad Mickey' Devoy in Tallaght in 2014 but was released without charge.

Prison officers surrounded Molyneaux yesterday in Dublin's Criminal Courts of Justice, where he pleaded guilty in separate cases in both the circuit and district courts.

Threats

Sources said this precaution was taken because of major threats against the well-known criminal as well as fears of Molyneaux himself.

A heavy Garda presence as the remains of Michael 'Mad Mickey' Devoy. Photo: Collins
A heavy Garda presence as the remains of Michael 'Mad Mickey' Devoy. Photo: Collins

Molyneaux yesterday asked District Court Judge Anthony Halpin to sentence him as he has been on remand in Cloverhill and "has concerns about being on remand in that prison".

It is understood that these are about threats that he has faced from gangland rivals since he was locked up last week.

At Dublin District Court, Judge Halpin set recognisances for an appeal. This means that Molyneaux is expected to be released in the coming days once a cash bond has been raised.

Molyneaux pleaded guilty before Dublin District Court to driving without insurance on Buckingham Street Lower, Dublin 1, on July 14 last year.

He also admitted possession of alprazolam tablets, worth €300, after he was taken to Store Street Garda Station and searched.

Molyneaux, of North William Street, North Strand, Dublin 1, further admitted careless driving and handling stolen property in Liberty Park, Dublin 1, on December 20, 2016.

Molyneaux was quizzed over the killing of ‘Mad Mickey’ Devoy and released without charge.
Molyneaux was quizzed over the killing of ‘Mad Mickey’ Devoy and released without charge.

In that incident, the court heard Molyneaux was riding a push bike on the footpath.

Gardai spoke to him, telling him it was an offence, but Molyneaux took off at speed, nearly colliding with a female pedestrian, who was forced to jump out of the way.

When he was stopped by gardai in Foley Street, Molyneaux admitted the bike did not belong to him and he did not know who owned it.

Earlier yesterday, in Dublin Circuit Criminal Court, Molyneaux received a two-year sentence suspended for two years after he admitted possession of a screwdriver for use in a theft and being a passenger on a stolen motorbike.

Joke

The incident took place at East Wall Road, Dublin 1, on May 9, 2016.

The college student, whose motorbike was stolen on April Fool's Day, initially thought it had been taken as a joke, the court heard.

Molyneaux was arrested after a supermarket security guard contacted gardai about two suspicious men who were riding around a car park.

The loss of the bike for owner Matthew Leonard was an enormous inconvenience, the court heard, and a journey to college that had taken him 30 minutes by motorbike took him two hours by bus.

The victim, who was in the final year of a masters at the time, also believed that the loss of his bike impacted on his studies, and was partly why he had to repeat the last semester of his masters.

Judge Karen O'Connor described the offence as "particularly horrible".

The judge ordered Molyneaux to pay €1,000 compensation to Mr Leonard and imposed a two-year sentence, which she suspended for two years.

His co-accused, William Baker (34), was sentenced earlier this month and received a two-year suspended sentence. He was ordered to pay €2,000 compensation to Mr Leonard.

Baker, like 'Buda', is also a well-known associate of the Hutch gang, who have been involved in a deadly feud with the Kinahan cartel for over two years.

Mitigation evidence in Molyneaux's favour was heard at yesterday's sentencing hearing.

Defence counsel Dean Kelly said the defendant picked up the bulk of his previous convictions in his late teens, when he had "difficulties at the lower end of drug experimentation".

Mr Kelly said Molyneaux's last conviction was a public order matter in 2016 and he had "improved greatly in recent years".

He said the defendant's father worked as a lorry driver and died in 2012.

His mother previously worked as a cleaner, and Molyneaux lived at home with her and his sister.

He also has a young son with an ex-partner, the lawyer said.

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