Man jailed for five years over role in failed cartel murder plot

David Duffy booked flights to bring hitman to come to Ireland to target James ‘Mago’ Gately

A man who booked flights for a hitman hired in a Kinahan cartel plot to murder a rival Hutch gang member has been jailed by the Special Criminal Court for five years.

A man who booked flights for a hitman hired in a Kinahan cartel plot to murder a rival Hutch gang member has been jailed by the Special Criminal Court for five years.

 

A man who booked flights for a hitman hired in a Kinahan cartel plot to murder a rival Hutch gang member has been jailed by the Special Criminal Court for five years.

Dubliner David Duffy is the latest man to be sentenced for his involvement in the attempt to murder James ‘Mago’ Gately. He was jailed on Friday by the three-judge court for supplying logistical support.

Mr Justice Hunt said that while Duffy had not directly participated in the surveillance of Mr Gately’s car, he was involved in booking flights for a former Estonian separatist fighter turned hitman, Imre Arakas, to come to Ireland.

The court has heard on previous occasions that Arakas (63) was brought to Ireland on April 3rd, 2017 to target Mr Gately, but was intercepted by gardaí before he could carry out the contract on the victim’s life.

He was jailed for six years in December 2018, having pleaded guilty to conspiring with others to murder Mr Gately in Northern Ireland between April 3rd and 4th, 2017.

Duffy (33) of Greenfort Lawns, Clondalkin, Dublin 22, pleaded guilty in April to having knowledge of the existence of a criminal organisation and participating in or contributing to activities connected with the said offence, namely the murder of Mr Gately, with the intention of enhancing the ability of the criminal organisation or its members to commit the serious offence between December 7th, 2016 and April 6th, 2017.

In passing sentence, presiding judge Mr Justice Tony Hunt said Duffy had provided logistical support to an organised crime group of the “most serious variety in the commission of a serious crime”.

Sourced vehicle

He said “the forestalling of the attempt on Mr Gately’s life was only made possible by gardaí”. The judge said that Duffy had been involved in booking flights to and from the UK for the organisation ahead of the planned attempt and sourced a vehicle for use by the gang.

The judge said Duffy was involved in the planned cleaning of a car of fingerprints, that he was in possession of a pack of SIM cards intended for use in burner phones and was in “frequent” contact with the director of activities in the foiled plan.

Mr Justice Hunt said that Duffy also sourced tracker devices for vehicles, one of which had been attached to Mr Gately’s car in Belfast. The judge said that Duffy’s role was, however, “limited to logistics” and that he had only one previous conviction of any significance.

He fixed eight years as an appropriate headline sentence for the offence, which carries a maximum of 15 years’ imprisonment.

Discounting a quarter of that sentence due to Duffy’s early gullty plea, the judge said he would also take into account the accused’s “reasonable record of employment”.

Mr Justice Hunt then suspended the final year of a six-year sentence and ordered Duffy to engage with the probation services for that year upon his release. The judge further ordered that Duffy be of good behaviour for three years upon his release and that he enter into a €100 bond to that end.