A Dublin man who impeded the investigation into the shooting of mechanic Aidan O’Kane by supplying his killer with a change of clothes and destroying evidence in the case has been given a three-year jail term.
In March, Jason Beatty (aged 21), of Merchant Road, East Wall, pleaded guilty to the intent to impede the apprehension or prosecution of Conor Duffy for the unlawful killing of Aidan O’Kane on December 17 2008.
Beatty also pleaded guilty at the Central Criminal Court to the possession of drugs for the purpose of sale or supply in East Wall between December 7 and 11, 2008.
Mr Justice Garrett Sheehan sentenced Beatty to six years but suspended the final three and backdated it to May 14, 2012 from when Beatty went into custody.
Beatty was given six years with three suspended on the first count and five years with two suspended on the second. Both terms are to run concurrently meaning his jail-term is three years.
The judge said there were three mitigating factors including his age, his lack of premeditation, and co-operation with gardaí. He also noted his guilty plea and his expression of remorse.
Last year a jury found Conor Duffy guilty of the manslaughter of 50-year-old mechanic Aidan O’Kane, who was shot dead in a laneway near his home in East Wall on December 7, 2008.
Last month Detective Garda Daniel Charles told Mr Paul Burns SC, prosecuting, that Conor Duffy was the prime suspect in the shooting of Aidan O’Kane.
He said that a garda investigation determined Jason Beatty had supplied Conor Duffy with a change of clothing and runners before going on to burn Duffy’s original clothing at a disused factory on the East Wall road.
He agreed with Mr Burns that when gardaí searched the derelict factory they found the burnt remains of clothing, while a Tupperware box containing cannabis and cocaine was also found in a wall cavity.
Det Gda Charles told the court that a revolver subsequently confirmed as the weapon used in the killing of Mr O’Kane was also found in the factory.
He said that over the course of a number of interviews Beatty told gardaí that he gave Duffy a change of clothes and burnt the original clothing only because he was “a mate”, adding that he regretted what he had done.
Det Gda Charles said Beatty told gardaí that he had stored the 758g of cannabis and 53g of cocaine in the Tupperware box found in the wall cavity “out of fear” a number of weeks previously. The court heard the combined value of the drugs was €9,070.
Det Gda Charles agreed with Mr Burns that Beatty, who has five previous convictions including those for the unlawful possession of drugs and the production of a knife in the course of a dispute, lived at home in East Wall with his mother.
He told counsel for the defence, Mr Erwan Mill-Arden SC, that it was “fair to say” Beatty was the “wrong man in the wrong place at the wrong time” as the defendant had only met Duffy and after paying a visit to a friend’s house.
Det Gda Charles agreed that Beatty was “in tears” in interview with gardaiíand had told detectives he would “turn back the clock” if he could.
Mr Mill-Arden told the court that Beatty had involved himself in a “tragic situation” and had committed the offence after meeting “an old school friend”.
He said that Beatty was a young man who had accepted responsibility for his actions and that his plea of guilty had saved the hearing of a complex trial involving as many as 50 witnesses.