Solicitor who gave phone to prisoner receives suspended sentence

Court heard Joanne Kangley was ‘fearful’ after client threatened to rape her daughter

  Joanne Kangley  leaving Portlaoise Circuit Court after she was sentenced for giving a mobile phone to a convicted rapist serving a sentence in Portlaoise Prison. Photograph: Colin Keegan, Collins Dublin

Joanne Kangley leaving Portlaoise Circuit Court after she was sentenced for giving a mobile phone to a convicted rapist serving a sentence in Portlaoise Prison. Photograph: Colin Keegan, Collins Dublin

 

A solicitor who gave a mobile phone to a prisoner, after he threatened to rape her child, has received a 12-month suspended sentence.

Joanne Kangley (41) formerly of Bailieborough, Co Cavan, appeared at Portlaoise Circuit Court pleading guilty to the offence on November 6th, 2014.

Judge Keenan Johnson heard Kangley, a mother of two young children, also provided the prisoner with a SIM card and topped up the phone for the incarcerated rapist, her former client.

Kangley qualified in 2001 and was a practising solicitor since 2004. She had built up a “fairly high-profile clientele amongst the criminal fraternity”, the court heard.

The prisoner, who denies receiving the phone, was jailed for false imprisonment and raping a woman with implements .

The court had previously heard the solicitor gave the phone to the inmate while he was a patient at Midlands Regional Hospital, Portlaoise, after he threatened “to fillet”her. The court heard he also remarked she had “a lovely daughter, I know all about her”.

The court heard he took the phone from her bag but she could not reason with him to return it. It heard she eventually removed the SIM card and threw the phone on the bed.

At her Tuesday sentencing, Judge Johnson noted Kangley was “extremely frightened and fearful” of the rapist, who said he had seen pictures of Ms Kangley’s daughter and that he was going to rape her if she did not get him a SIM card.

The court heard she later bought him a SIM card and topped up the phone, which was used to search for information about her and to intimidate others.

In February 2015 a prison officer recovered the phone from the man, the court heard. Examinations revealed he had used it to contact Ms Kangley and for internet searches of his former solicitor and his rape victim, the court heard.

Judge Johnson said the aggravating factors were the “serious breach of trust on the part of the accused” and that the phone was used to “intimidate other parties”.

However, he noted Kangley had given the phone when she was under “unbearable stress, duress and fear” because of her then-client, that she had lost her business, her livelihood, was diagnosed as having post-traumatic stress disorder , had a previously “unblemished record” and was fearing for her daughter’s safety.

Judge Johnson said Kangley was a devoted mother to her children and described her former client as manipulative, devious and sadistic.

“She was clearly in an extremely invidious position with choices to make that were all going to be highly unpalatable. To a certain extent she became a victim of his criminal behaviour,” he said, adding that she now lived in Spain because “of the threat she still feels is posed by him and his associates”.

Judge Johnson said the maximum sentence was five years under Section 36 of the Prison Act and that without mitigating factors he would have sentenced her to three-and-a-half years. He suspended a 12-month sentence for five years and Kangley entered into a bond of €500 to keep the peace.