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Man who was 'conduit of order from on high' jailed for six years for Dublin murder plot

Dean Howe was sentenced at the Special Criminal Court after pleading guilty.

Image: PA Images

A MAN WHO plotted to assassinate Dubliner Gary Hanley has been jailed for six years by the Special Criminal Court.

Sentencing Dean Howe at the non-jury court today, Mr Justice Tony Hunt said the defendant’s activities had placed him in a supervisory role as part of this “elaborate plan”.

“He was a conduit of order from on high and forcefully encouraged the activities of those lower down the chain of command,” said the judge.

Furthermore, Howe had “actively contributed” to the conspiracy and had received as well as passed on instructions from those further up the chain of command, he said.

Justice Hunt also pointed out that the father-of-three was “one step” above those already dealt with in the chain of command.

Howe (34), with an address at Oakfield, Dublin 8, pleaded guilty last December to conspiring with others to murder Mr Hanley at a location within the State between 15 September and 6 November, 2017.

The three-judge court has heard that Howe had scolded one of his co-accused, telling him he had “fucked up” on the day he “went to court”, in a recording secretly captured by gardai in a bugged car.

Howe was also observed by gardai with two other men in the Phoenix Park at the same time tracking devices “pinged” in the park, two days before the devices were discovered on Hanley’s car.

Howe was involved in carrying out surveillance on Hanley; supervising the use of several cars by him and his co-conspirators; collecting fuel; and giving instructions to his co-accused Joseph Kelly.

Luke Wilson (24), from Cremona Road in Ballyfermot, Dublin; Alan Wilson (39) of New Street Gardens, Dublin 8; and Joseph Kelly (35) of Kilworth Road, Drimnagh, Dublin 12, all previously pleaded guilty to conspiring to murder Hanley.

Luke Wilson, who also pleaded guilty to unlawful possession of a Beretta, was jailed for 11 years; Alan Wilson was given six years and Joseph Kelly, who also admitted a weapons charge, was jailed for 12 years.

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Alison O'Riordan

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