Man who conspired to assassinate Dubliner jailed for six years
Alan Wilson secretly recorded by gardaí in discussions about murder plot
Father-of-four Alan Wilson had instructed his co-accused Joseph Kelly in an audio recording to “go and do what you have to do” to kill Gary Hanley.
Gangland criminal Alan Wilson, who conspired with his fellow gunmen to assassinate Dublin man Gary Hanley, is “very fortunate” that the maximum sentence for the offence is 10 years, a judge has noted.
Wilson, who was secretly recorded by gardaí in discussions about the murder plot, was on Monday jailed by the Special Criminal Court for six years.
The father-of-four instructed his co-accused Joseph Kelly in an audio recording to “go and do what you have to do” to kill Mr Hanley.
Heroin addict Kelly, who was recorded saying “if this fella survives we get no pay” and “hit him in the chest or something first”, was sentenced to 12 years in prison at the same hearing on Monday.
Kelly was jailed for six years for conspiring to murder Mr Hanley and 12 years for possession of a firearm with intent to endanger life. His sentences are to run concurrently and were backdated to when he first went into custody.
Alan Wilson (40) of New Street Gardens, Dublin 8 and Joseph Kelly (39) of Kilworth Road, Drimnagh, Dublin 12 previously admitted to conspiring with Luke Wilson and other persons to murder Gary Hanley at a location within the State between September 15th and November 6th 2017, both dates inclusive. This offence is contrary to Section 71 of the Criminal Justice Act 2006 and the maximum sentence that can be imposed upon conviction for conspiracy is ten years in prison.
Kelly also pleaded guilty to possessing a 9mm Beretta semi-automatic pistol with intent to endanger life at Philipsburgh Avenue, Marino, Dublin 3 on November 6th, 2017.
At a sentence hearing earlier this month, James Dwyer SC for Wilson informed the three-judge court that there were “logistical difficulties” in having the two men together in court, so it was decided to deal with each man’s case separately.
Passing sentence firstly on Alan Wilson on Monday , Mr Justice Hunt said audio recordings which included Wilson revealed “a wide variety of aspects” concerning the proposed attack.
The judge said Wilson had issued instructions to his co-accused, Kelly and Luke Wilson in regards to the destruction of the cars as well as the method by which Mr Hanley was to be murdered.
Having regard to the gravity of the offence, the judge said the court had to consider a number of relevant factors, which included the nature and extent of the conspiracy in question. “This was a widely-drawn conspiracy of a very serious nature,” he said adding that Wilson’s contribution, which was “knowledgeable and intentional” had taken place over a long period of time. The offence contemplated was the most serious in the criminal calendar and Wilson had played a “serious role on a constant basis” in preparation for this crime, he added.
Referring to Wilson, the judge noted that the conspiracy involved an “intricate” plan to kill in the context of an “ongoing feud” and the defendant had been prepared to carry out the role for financial gain.
This offence fell short of “the maximum point of harm” intended by the conspirators due to intervention by gardai rather than “any restraint or lack of commitment” on the part of the accused, said the judge.
The headline sentence was eight years but there was a limited number of mitigating factors with the most significant being his early guilty plea, he continued.
The court heard that other mitigating factors were Wilson’s “effective absence” of previous convictions and expression of remorse. The judge said he would reduce the headline sentence by two years because of these factors.
Wilson had penned a letter of apology which was handed into the court at his sentence hearing. It read: “I apologise unreservedly for my actions and to all those that my actions have affected. I regret aiding the gang and should have known better. I was blinded at time regarding the ramifications that a gang would have and truly regret the course of my actions.”
Wilson was sentenced to six years imprisonment, backdated to November 6th, 2017 when he went into custody.
In summary, Mr Justice Hunt said he would like to compliment the gardaí on their excellent work which had prevented “another execution-type murder” and noted that Wilson was “very fortunate” that statute had placed a limitation on this offence.
Sentencing Kelly, Mr Justice Hunt said the defendant had 64 previous convictions and gardaí had accepted he had a very serious heroin addiction. Lengthy and ongoing preparations had been made by Kelly over a number of months, indicated the judge, adding that he could not be characterised as the organiser of this “deadly enterprise”.
“He was clearly prepared to assist with the necessary preparation and assist up to the point of the actual killing but not to be the actual gunman deployed to carry out the shooting,” he continued.
Referring to the firearm charge, the judge said this carried a maximum sentence of life imprisonment and a minimum sentence of ten years.
There had been “no public use” or brandishing of the weapon and this was thanks to the interception of gardaí and not Kelly’s restraint, said the judge. However, the firearm was loaded and there was enormous potential for death and destruction and the defendant was prepared to be “intimately involved”, he continued.
The judge said Kelly and his companions had been caught “red-handed” due to excellent police work. He emphasised that this event had arose out of criminality of a serious nature and Kelly had not been operating under a threat. “The recording of the conversation showed that financial gain was his motivation, which was probably his drug addiction rather than pure greed,” remarked Mr Justice Hunt.
Mr Justice Hunt sentenced Kelly to thirteen years and six months imprisonment with 18 months suspended for a period of three years for the firearm charge.
The judge said Kelly had played a “precise and crucial” role in this conspiracy and he received a six-year concurrent sentence on the conspiracy charge.
Luke Wilson (23), a nephew of Alan Wilson, from Cremona Road in Ballyfermot, Dublin 10 was sentenced to 11 years in jail last year after pleading guilty to unlawful possession of a Beretta handgun with intent to endanger life at Philipsburgh Avenue, Fairview, Dublin 3 on November 6th, 2017.
Luke Wilson also received a six-year concurrent sentence after he admitted to conspiring to murder Mr Hanley at a location within the State on the same occasion.