Black Volkswagen Golf TSI stolen from Lusk on July 2, 2012 at 4:20am
Make: VW Golf TSI
Registration Number: 10-D-5578
Location Vehicle was Stolen: From our home in Lusk
Date Stolen: 2nd July
Time Stolen: 4.20am
Black Volkswagen Golf TSI stolen from Lusk on July 2, 2012 at 4:20am
Make: VW Golf TSI
Registration Number: 10-D-5578
Location Vehicle was Stolen: From our home in Lusk
Date Stolen: 2nd July
Time Stolen: 4.20am
The Northern Ireland Director of Public Prosecutions was not involved in the police decision to launch a murder investigation into the Bloody Sunday killings, his office said.
Barra McGrory QC represented Martin McGuinness in the marathon Saville Inquiry into the shootings in Londonderry in January 1972 when the Sinn Fein MP was an IRA leader in the city.
A report which confirmed the innocence of the 13 men shot dead by British paratroopers also claimed that Mr McGuinness, now the Deputy Northern Ireland First Minister, gave wrong information about his movements that day and was probably carrying a machine gun which he may have used to open fire on troops. A 14th victim died later.
The Chief Constable of the PSNI Matt Baggott said the new police investigation involving up to 40 officers could take four years to complete.
Mr McGrory, then a solicitor, represented Mr McGuiness at the Saville probe into the shootings, but insisted he had no part in the decision by the Chief Constable to begin a murder inquiry.
A spokesperson said that when he took up his position as Director last November he had identified Bloody Sunday as one of a number of cases in which there may be a potential conflict of interest. She added: “The Director had therefore already determined that he would not be involved in any decision as to whether or not to prosecute in those cases.”
Some Unionist politicians, furious with the Chief Constable’s decision, are demanding that Mr McGuinness be questioned and that the inquiry be widened to include the murders of two RUC officers shot dead by the IRA in Derry just days before Bloody Sunday. One of the gunmen involved reportedly used a sub-machine gun.
East Londonderry DUP MP Gregory Campbell said: “If the material contained in the Saville Report is good enough to warrant an investigation of the soldiers, then the police will also note that the report indicates the Deputy First Minister was ‘probably’ carrying a sub-machine-gun on that day. This must also merit investigation by the police.”
The Saville Inquiry, which lasted seven years, cost an estimated £200 million, but the findings cannot be used as evidence in the police probe.
The PSNI is already under massive pressure investigating unsolved murders, many going back decades, including the bombing of village of Claudy, Co Derry, in July 1972 which claimed the lives of nine people. Even though the IRA is widely believed to have been responsible, the organisation never owned up to that attack, 15 miles from Derry. It is currently under investigation by the PSNI.
A woman who controlled and trafficked prostitutes in Northern Ireland using threats of murder has been sentenced to seven years in prison.
Rong Chen, 35, conned women into coming to Northern Ireland believing they would work as child minders.
Instead the illegal immigrants worked as prostitutes or housekeepers while isolated in squalid flats and were threatened with violence and deportation should they try to escape.
Mr Justice Ben Stephens said: “You trafficked four women as an adjunct to and to facilitate a large-scale commercial operation of controlling prostitution for gain.”
Chen told the women her husband was a Chinese Triad gang leader and boasted of high-level police contacts, Belfast Crown Court heard. She was caught after two prostitutes were detained at a port in Belfast in May 2009.
Mr Justice Stephens said Chen, from Kidderminster, Worcestershire in England, had regarded her victims’ well-being as “inconsequential”.
“You sexually exploited and degraded women as a commodity for financial gain, irrespective of the impact on them and their lives,” he said. “There was coercion involved in that you, Rong Chen, coerced four of the women who worked in these brothels.”
Two men convicted of aiding and abetting Chen in controlling prostitution, her husband Jason Hinton and former policeman Simon Dempsey from Northern Ireland, were also sentenced. Hinton was given a community service and Dempsey was jailed for nine months.
There were at least five brothels in Belfast, Newry in Co Down and Londonderry and victims were trafficked between them, the court heard.
The judge said Chen threatened the prostitutes with violence and murder after luring them to Northern Ireland with adverts in Chinese newspapers promising relatively well paid jobs. She used their illegal status to prevent them from contacting the authorities and controlled their movements – isolating them in dirty flats with little command of English and afraid of going to the police.
A US man robbed a bank – and immediately confessed to his crime.
Raymond Carl Knudson claims he robbed the bank after becoming intrigued by documentary ‘Inside Job’, which detailed the causes of the 2008 global financial meltdown.
He said his conscience got the better of him and he had to hand himself over within minutes of the robbery. He had stolen $425.
According to court documents, Knudson went into the bank and handed a robbery note to a cashier. He then went to a local police department to admit what he had done.
He is due sentencing later this year.
Former Argentine dictator Jorge Rafael Videla was convicted and jailed for 50 years for a systematic plan to steal babies from prisoners who were kidnapped, tortured and killed during the military junta’s war on left-wing dissenters 30 years ago.
Argentina’s last dictator, Reynaldo Bignone, was also convicted and jailed for 15 years.
“This is a historic day. Today legal justice has been made real – never again the justice of one’s own hands, which the repressors were known for,” prominent rights activist Tati Almeida said outside the court in Buenos Aires, where a jubilant crowd watched on a big screen and cheered each sentence.
The baby thefts set Argentina’s 1976-1983 regime apart from all the other juntas that ruled in Latin America at the time. Videla other military and police officials were determined to remove any trace of the armed leftist guerrilla movement they said threatened the country’s future.
The “dirty war” eventually claimed 13,000 victims according to official records. Many were pregnant women who were “disappeared” shortly after giving birth in clandestine maternity wards.
Videla, 86, denied there was any systematic plan to remove the babies and said prisoners used their unborn children as “human shields” in their fight against the state.
Nine others, mostly former military and police officials, also were accused in the trial, which focused on 34 baby thefts. Seven were convicted and two were found not guilty.
Witnesses included former US diplomat Elliot Abrams, called to give evidence after a long-secret memo describing his clandestine meeting with Argentina’s ambassador was made public at the request of the Grandmothers of the Plaza de Mayo, a human rights group whose evidence-gathering efforts were key to the trial.
Mr Abrams said from Washington that he secretly urged Bignone to reveal the stolen babies’ identities as a way to smooth Argentina’s return to democracy.
“We knew that it wasn’t just one or two children,” Mr Abrams told the court, suggesting that there must have been some sort of directive from a top-level official – “a plan, because there were many people who were being murdered or jailed.”
No reconciliation effort was made. Instead, Bignone ordered the military to destroy evidence of “dirty war” activities, and the junta denied any knowledge of baby thefts, let alone responsibility for the disappearances of political prisoners.
The US government also revealed little of what it knew as the junta’s death squads were eliminating opponents.
The Grandmothers group has since used DNA evidence to help 106 people who were stolen from prisoners as babies recover their true identities, and 26 of these cases were part of this trial. Many were raised by military officials or their allies, who falsified their birth names, trying to remove any hint of their left-wing origins.
The rights group estimates as many as 500 babies could have been stolen, but the destruction of documents and passage of time make it impossible to know for sure.
The trial featured gut-wrenching evidence from grandmothers and other relatives who searched inconsolably for their missing relatives, and from people who learned as young adults that they were raised by the very people involved in the disappearance of their birth parents.
Prosecutors had asked for 50 years for Videla and four others. Ms Almeida said “in some cases we would have preferred longer sentences, but since they’re such old men now, it’s almost like a perpetual sentence”.
Videla received the maximum sentence as the man criminally responsible for 20 of the thefts.
He and Bignone, 84, already have life sentences for other crimes against humanity and are serving time behind bars despite an Argentine law that usually permits criminals over 70 to stay at home.
Seven others were convicted and sentenced by the three-judge panel: former admiral Antonio Vanek, 40 years; ex-marine Jorge “Tigre” Acosta, 30; former general Santiago Omar Riveros, 20; ex-navy prefect Juan Antonio Azic, 14; and Dr Jorge Magnacco, who witnesses said handled some of the births, 10.
Former captain Victor Gallo and his ex-wife Susana Colombo, were sentenced to 15 and five years in jail respectively. Their adopted son, Francisco Madariaga, gave evidence against them and said he hoped their sentences would set an example.
Retired admiral Ruben Omar Franco and a former intelligence agent, Eduardo Ruffo, were cleared.
According to Argentine judicial procedure, the basis for the convictions and sentences will not be revealed until September 17, said the president of the judicial tribunal, Maria del Carmen Roqueta.
U2 star Adam Clayton’s former personal assistant has today been sentenced to seven years in prison for the embezzlement of €2.8m of his money.
Carol Hawkins was last week convicted on 181 counts of theft from the bassist’s bank accounts over a four-year period.
Clayton was not in court as the 48-year-old was led away by prison guards. She stared straight ahead as Judge Patrick McCartan delivered the sentence, trying to contain her emotions.
“Nothing, frankly, could explain away the scale of this dishonesty other than the greed in pursuit of a lavish lifestyle that was no responsibility of Mr Clayton’s,” said Judge McCartan.
He said the fact Ms Hawkins maintained her innocence throughout the trial was a factor in his sentencing and suggested if given an opportunity to commit a similar crime in the future, he was not entirely confident she would resist.
“These were crimes rooted in greed and nothing else,” he said.
“Whether she was a fool or clever person really matters very little.”
Judge McCartan said Hawkins believed she was entitled to the money she stole and criticised her attitude throughout the trial.
He said she contested the evidence and persisted in a “false belief in innocence” despite the fact a jury of her peers found her to be guilty.
The judge described U2 star Clayton as a good employer who showed Hawkins care and compassion.
He said her crime therefore represented a significant breach of trust.
“Mr Clayton seems to this court from what has emerged from this case to be a good employer, a person who was capable of showing care and compassion, who gave the accused a second chance,” he added.
Judge McCartan also made an order for funds raised through the sale of a New York apartment bought by Hawkins to go towards paying back some of the €2.8m she stole.
During the trial at the Circuit Criminal Court in Dublin, a jury of seven men and five women heard how Hawkins, of Lower Rathmines Road, Dublin had gained Clayton’s “absolute trust”.
The mother-of-two was a signatory on two of his bank accounts from which she wrote 181 cheques and deposited into her own personal bank account, a joint account with her then husband and a credit card account.
The transactions dated from 2004 to 2008 when her deception emerged after she confessed to booking herself around €15,000 worth of flights on Clayton’s account to visit her children living in London and New York.
Investigations later revealed she splashed cash on 22 racehorses, exotic holidays, limousine services and in designer boutiques in New York, such as Roberto Cavalli.
Elsewhere, a Volkswagen Golf was purchased for her son Joe, while the rock star’s money paid for fashion and film courses for her children.
Hawkins was originally employed from 1992 as a housekeeper at Clayton’s Rathfarnham mansion, in south Dublin.
Having gained his trust over the years, she was eventually appointed his PA and was responsible for some of his bookkeeping.
Her former husband John Hawkins also worked as a casual driver and cook for the U2 bassist.
The couple, who lived in Clayton’s home rent-free, were paid a joint salary of around €48,000. After their split in around 2007, the musician continued to pay Hawkins the full salary.
He also found her a therapist when she claimed to be suicidal after the separation and told the court while giving evidence that he had been concerned for her health.
No defence was given during the trial and lawyers for Hawkins, told the court she still maintained her innocence – even after her conviction.
They denied she had taken the money between 2004 and 2008, instead arguing that she sometimes used her own credit card to purchase items for his benefit to keep his card in credit.
Defence barrister, senior counsel Ken Fogarty, had said she was not a devious woman and had no money “squirrelled away” in Marbella for after her release.
He pointed out that Hawkins had no more than a school education and that she intends to try to pay back the money.
What do you think of this anti-social behaviour recorded in Balbriggan?
‘The video speaks for itself, if you notice in the back of the car there is young children witnessing this. They say that anti-social behaviour often starts at a young age and is handed down from their parents – only time will tell.’
Shane Raymond lists a selection of members of An Garda Síochána who have been killed while trying to prevent crime or help others.
1975 – Garda Michael Joseph Reynolds (30)
While off duty with his wife and 2-year-old daughter, a getway car almost crashed into Michael Reynolds on the Howth road. The fugitives were coming from a raid on a branch of the Bank of Ireland where they stole £7,000. Reynolds pursued the thieves with his wife and child in the car, reaching up to 60 mph in a chase through Dublin suburbs, concluding at St. Anne’s Park in Raheny. Reynolds pursued, unarmed, on foot, where he tackled one of the runaways and dragged him to the ground. One of the other raiders told Reynolds to let their accomplice go, but Reynolds held on. He was shot in the head.
Two of the raiders were later caught and sentenced to death, though this sentence would later be commuted to life.
1980 – Detective John Morley (38) and Garda Henry Byrne (30)
The gardaí that responded to three masked members of Saor Éire robbing a Roscommon bank had to let the raiders escape as they brought no guns with them. Later in Castlerea, the getaway car crashed into a gardaí vehicle which was pursuing them. With their car disabled, the felons attacked the gardaí vehicle with shotguns, killing Garda Henry Byrne who left behind two children and a pregnant wife.
Detective John Morley, who was once Captain of Mayo’s GAA team, gave chase across fields to two of the fleeing raiders. It is believed he shot and injured one of the them with his Uzi, but he got fatally wounded himself shortly after. He was married with two sons and a daughter.
All three of the robbers were later arrested, found guilty and sentenced to death, though their sentences were later reduced to 40 years by order of President Patrick Hillary.
1985 – Sergeant Patrick Morrissey (49)
Criminals stole £25,000 from the Labour Exchange before shooting at two gardaí who came upon them on patrol and fleeing in the manager’s car. Sergeant Morrissey flagged down the two gardaí as they pursued the robbers, and joined them in the chase.
By this time the criminals had ditched the car for a motorcycle, which they crashed into a car on Rathbrist Cross. The two gardaí stayed with the injured occupants of the car while an unarmed Morrissey pursued the thieves onto the grounds of Rathbrist house. There he was shot and fell to the ground where, a short time later, he was shot again, point-blank to the head in what has been described as an execution.
Morrissey had a wife and four children, and was a member of the gardaí subaqua unit. He also volunteered with Drogheda River Rescue and was known for saving the life of a drowning teenager. His killers were the last people to be sentenced to death by the Irish State.
1996 – Detective Jerry McCabe (53)
Four months after the breakdown of the first IRA ceasefire, Detective McCabe was part of an escort for a post office van carrying £81,000. Shortly before 7 am, he and his partner were parked in a Garda car behind the van in Ardare when a Jeep purposely crashed into them from behind. Two members of the provisional IRA exited the car in balaclavas and sprayed the gardaí vehicle with an AK-47. Although the detectives were armed, they had no time to use their weapons. Jerry McCabe was hit three times, fatally. His partner was hit eleven times but survived despite serious injuries. The ambushers escaped before being able to steal any of the An Post money.
McCabe, who was from Kerry, had five children, two of which are now gardaí. Four men were convicted in connection with the crime, however the charge was reduced to manslaughter after two witnesses withdrew their testimony. All sentences have been served as of August 2009.
1999 – Sergeant Andrew John Callanan (36)
At 4.45 am, a man entered Tallaght Garda Station with two flares and a pair of five-litre canisters of petrol and said: “You have two minutes to get out.” The man, who was upset about being barred from his family home due to accusations of sexually assaulting one of his daughters and threatening to kill his wife, tried to commit suicide by spilling petrol over the station and himself.
Callanan, who was standing nearby with a fire extinguisher, tried to disarm the man who responded by throwing petrol at Callanan and setting it alight.The ensuing blast killed Callanan and injured other gardaí, but the injured assailant escaped in a car.
Callanan had a wife, a son, twin girls, and had recently passed exams to become an inspector.
His assailant was convicted of arson and manslaughter after a jury failed to reach a verdict on murder.
2009 – Garda Gary McLoughlin (24)
While driving a patrol car in the early hours of Sunday morning, Gary responded to a report of a suspicious vehicle. ‘Garda Killer’ Martin McDermott, who had 91 previous convictions and was banned from driving for twenty years, lead McLoughlin on a 30 km chase as he tried to cross the border into Derry, reaching speeds of up to 150 km in doing so. The gardaí had decided not to use a stinger device as they were afraid the speeding car could lose control. McLoughlin was trying to regain sight of McDermott’s vehicle when it suddenly came into view, speeding toward him on the wrong side of the road. The crash was such that it ripped the engine from the body of the Opel Astra and threw the driver 60 yards down the road.
McLoughlin died in Letterkenny hospital the next day. It later emerged that he had planned to ask his long-term girlfriend to marry him when she turned 21 in May 2011.
His killer escaped from Loughan house open prison in Cavan in March of this year, however he was arrested the following day and sentenced to seven years.
2011 – Garda Ciarán Jones (24)
During the floodings of October last year, Ciarán, who was off duty at the time, assisted drivers at Ballysmuttan bridge, Wicklow. While warning motorists of dangerous driving conditions he lost his footing and was thrust into the river. His body was found the next morning after being swept five kilometres down the Liffey.
Ciarán joined the Gardaí in 2008 and played for Kilbride GAA club and Wicklow senior footballers. The bridge he was forced from has been renamed in his honour.
An out-of-work dance teacher, who made unfounded allegations that he was sexually assaulted by X-Factor judge Louis Walsh, was jailed today for six months.
Leonard Watters (aged 25), a father-of-two from Woodview, Navan, Co. Meath, was given a six-month term in January at Dublin District Court but was released within minutes after he lodged papers to appeal the severity of the sentence.
Watters had pleaded guilty to making up unfounded claims that the pop guru groped him in the toilets of the Krystle nightclub, in Dublin city-centre, in April, 2011.
He admitted that he made false reports to gardai at Harcourt Terrace Garda station, on June 20 last and at his home on June 28 last.
Today his sentence appeal came before Judge Katherine Delahunt at the Circuit Court in Dublin.
In pleas for leniency, defence solicitor Cahir O’Higgins had told the court earlier that Watters had suffered from post-traumatic stress disorder as a result of receiving severe burns in an accident when he was a child. He had developed a chronic alcohol problem, engaged in episodes of self harm and had attempted suicide.
The lawyer had said Watters’ actions had been a “cry for help” and he has now become regarded as a Walter Mitty-type person and “a figure of ridicule”.
Judge Katherine Delahunt had also been furnished with a booklet containing probation, psychological and psychiatric reports on Watters.
She said he had tried to “blame” his childhood accident, alcoholism and upbringing for his crime.
The judge said alcohol could not be used as an excuse and she noted that after the initial incident he continued with his “charade” until he was confronted by gardaí with irrefutable evidence which contradicted his claims.
She also said he was misleading to a psychologist and that he been found by a probation officer to be at the “upper moderate range” of re-offending unless he addresses his issues.
Judge Delahunt imposed an 11-month sentence but suspended the final five months of the term on condition that he is supervised by his probation officer for the same period and deals with his alcoholism.
She said the suspended portion of the sentenced could be activated if he does not get rehabilitation for his drink problem. Dressed in a black suit with a white shirt Watters remained silent and showed no emotion during his sentence hearing this morning.
Police in China have arrested 802 people on suspicion of child trafficking and rescued 181 youngsters in a massive operation spanning 15 provinces.
The Ministry of Public Security said the operation broke up two trafficking rings and the leaders were arrested.
It said the national operation was set up earlier this year after local police spotted trafficking signs, including frequent appearances of out-of-town pregnant women in a clinic in north China’s Hebei province.
Trafficking in children is a big problem in China, where the strict one-child policy has prompted a thriving market in babies.
Courts usually mete out harsh punishments – including the death sentence – to convicted traffickers.