Judge jails man for conspiracy to murder
A man who admitted possession of a firearm and being part of a conspiracy to murder a target of the Kinahan crime gang has been jailed for 11 years.
Luke Wilson (23), who himself had been the victim of an attempted murder bid when his best friend shot him in the face five years ago, was recorded by gardai in “extensive discussions” about the murder plot. He said in an audio recording that he had “no problem” camping in the back of a van in order “to get” Gary Hanley and that he wanted “money not jail”.
The father of one also said: “He [Hanley] doesn’t even understand why our people want him gone, he is such a f**king idiot”.
Wilson from Cremona Road in Ballyfermot, Dublin admitted in July to conspiring to murder Mr Hanley between September 15th and November 6th last year.
He also pleaded guilty to unlawful possession of a Beretta handgun with intent to endanger life at Philipsburgh Avenue, Fairview, Dublin on November 6th last year.
Passing sentence yesterday at the Special Criminal Court, Mr Justice Tony Hunt said it was previously heard a “vertical chain of command” existed and Wilson had no act or part in the “organisational part” of the endeavour. The judge said Wilson was heard on two of the 23 audio transcripts which were available.
Mr Justice Hunt said Wilson had been described by gardaí as “an essential cog in the wheel” and he had performed an important role.
The judge referred to the fact that Wilson, now drug-free, could be heard snorting cocaine in the recordings. Mr Justice Hunt said Wilson had a difficult start in life. Wilson’s mother had died from a drug overdose.
The judge said Wilson was motivated by financial and gambling issues. There was reference to Wilson, who had agreed to carry out the killing, expecting a payment in the transcripts.
Referring to the firearm charge, the judge said this carried a maximum sentence of life imprisonment and a minimum sentence of 10 years.
Mr Justice Hunt said the headline sentence for the firearm offence was 16 years but he accepted there were mitigating factors in his favour, the “most weighty” one being his early guilty plea .
“Very serious harm was intended and it was only prevented by good police work,” said Mr Justice Hunt.
“He is now facing a long custodial sentence at a relatively young age and his constant medical condition will make life difficult for him in prison and upon his release,” the judge remarked.
The court previously heard aged 18 when he was shot in the face by a friend Wilson is fully blind in one eye and is losing the sight in his other eye.
Sentencing for the firearm charge, Mr Justice Hunt, sentenced Wilson to 12 years with the final year suspended for a period of three years.
The judge emphasised Wilson could “rest assured” that if he had contested the trial he would have received a sentence of 16 years. Wilson also received a six-year concurrent sentence on the conspiracy charge.
Before the court rose, Mr Justice Hunt addressed Wilson saying: “It’s a long sentence but we have no choice in that matter. You have saved yourself four or five years.”
Luke Wilson was jailed for 11 years for plotting murder and having a gun