Jailed for hav­ing a gun and si­lencer in car boot


Bray People - - NEWS -

A BRAY MAN who had a gun in the boot of his car was jailed for three years when he ap­peared be­fore Wicklow Cir­cuit Court re­cently.

Ter­ence O’Neill (33) 5 Dar­gle Cres­cent, Bray was charged with pos­ses­sion of a sub­ma­chine gun and si­lencer at Sid­mon­ton Square on Fe­bru­ary 2, 2012.

Garda James Reynolds said his at­ten­tion was drawn to the driv­ing of O’Neill’s ve­hi­cle on the day in ques­tion and fol­lowed him stop­ping him at Sid­mon­ton Square.

He spoke to O’Neill about mo­tor­ing of­fences and seized the ve­hi­cle.

O’Neill then be­gan to act sus­pi­ciously and pan­icked walking to the boot of the car on two oc­ca­sions.

O’Neill then went to take a small case from the boot say­ing it was paint­ing tools.

When Garda Reynolds asked to look at it O’Neill said there were bul­lets in the case and said he owned them.

The car was then searched and the sub­ma­chine gun and si­lencer was found.

The court heard the gun was in good con­di­tion and had no se­rial num­ber. It had no dis­tin­guish­ing marks.

The gun was ca­pa­ble of dis­charg­ing in fully au­to­matic mode.

The court heard more than 170 rounds of am­mu­ni­tion were found.

Dur­ing in­ter­view O’Neill said he had been ap­proached by a man ask­ing him to carry out a job for cash.

He was told to go to the Sally Gap and leave the boot ajar.

When he re­turned to the car he was aware some­thing had been placed in it and was di­rected to keep the gun and am­mu­ni­tion for fur­ther no­tice.

O’Neill said he ini­tially thought he had col­lected drugs but later re­alised they weren’t drugs af­ter he was in­structed to hold onto the package for some time.

He said, ‘I never looked at them. If I had looked at them I would have got­ten rid of them.’

O’Neill said he had had the gun and am­mu­ni­tion for about a month be­fore be­ing stopped by gar­daí.

The court heard O’Neill had three pre­vi­ous con­vic­tions.

Garda Reynolds agreed with de­fend­ing coun­sel Ed Sweet­man, BL, that dur­ing in­ter­view O’Neill said, ‘I lost the woman I love and two kids I love. I’ll have to live with this.’ The court heard O’Neill’s re­la­tion­ship had bro­ken up on his ar­rest.

Mr. Sweet­man said O’Neill comes from a good fam­ily and had left school early to take up a job as a painter and dec­o­ra­tor.

The court heard he was in cus­tody since he was charged on Fe­bru­ary 4 although he had been granted bail.

O’Neill, he said, had been can­did with gar­daí and ‘ hadn’t at­tempted to hide what he was in it for’.

He said O’Neill was ‘used by a more dan­ger­ous per­son. He ac­cepts he did some­thing very wrong.’

Judge Michael O’Shea said ‘ in the wrong hand this is a very dan­ger­ous weapon and could cause se­ri­ous harm. It car­ries a real and se­ri­ous risk to life and so­ci­ety.’

He said O’Neill who was in on­go­ing fi­nan­cial dif­fi­cul­ties had met a per­son of ‘du­bi­ous char­ac­ter’ and trans­ported the gun in his car for a month.

He said O’Neill had as­sisted gar­daí ‘ as much as he could’ and took full re­spon­si­bil­ity for his part.

He sen­tenced O’Neill to three years im­pris­on­ment which he back­dated to Fe­bru­ary 2, 2012.

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