Terrified gang target Michael Frazer was left in fear for his life when he was sent to Mountjoy Prison to spend a week for non-payment of district court fines.
However, the 35-year-old was given a reprieve when jail bosses decided he be "processed" in the jail and allowed him back out on temporary release - meaning he did not have to spend even one night in custody.
The incident happened on Tuesday when Frazer presented himself to Terenure gardai, who had been looking for him after they obtained a penal warrant for unpaid court fines.
Frazer was then transported to Mountjoy Prison and released within hours, which sources said left him a very relieved man.
"If Frazer had to serve those days in jail, he would have had to be put in a special unit for his own protection and because of the threats surrounding him, he would have had very little time out of his own cell.
"So he was a very happy man when he was granted temporary release," the source said.
It is now standard practice for people who default on court fines not to serve actual jail time.
Frazer arrived back in Dublin at Christmas after spending most of last year abroad when he fled to England and Spain after surviving five separate attempts to murder him.
The first attempt on Frazer's life was in March 2014 when he was shot a number of times in a botched hit in the car park of a church in Clondalkin.
The thug who botched the hit is currently in jail for other offences. He is also the chief suspect for the murder of Dean Johnston (21) in 2011, a case which was the subject of a fresh garda appeal earlier this week.
Frazer also survived separate murder attempts in the south inner city, Firhouse, Drimnagh and Islandbridge areas between July and November of 2014 before he finally fled last April.
The south inner city incident happened in July 2014, when gardai intercepted an assassination team in the South Circular Road area and these same mobsters were also arrested by gardai in January of last year dressed in disguises, ready to pounce on their target.
An even more serious attempt on Frazer's life occurred at a pub car park in Firhouse on August 2014 when he was lured to a meeting, but the hitman's gun jammed.
A fortnight after this, Frazer made a panicked call to gardai and said that he saw a man wearing a balaclava standing outside the Drimnagh house he was staying in.
Last January, two heroin addicts from the Ballyfermot area were arrested and questioned about another failed murder attempt on Frazer at Islandbridge.
Frazer, who does not have serious criminal convictions, is no stranger to violence and his family home in Drimnagh has been shot at on a number of occasions.
A grenade was also thrown into it eight years ago.