NewsCrime Desk

No jail for teen caught transporting antique handgun

Webley and Scott .455mm Revolver (FILE PICTURE)
Webley and Scott .455mm Revolver (FILE PICTURE)

A 17 year old who was caught transporting an antique but fully functioning handgun has avoided a jail term at Dublin Circuit Criminal Court.

Craig Mooney, now aged 18, told gardaí he was transporting the Webley and Scott .455mm Revolver “from point A to point B” for a third party. The gun was found to be in good condition and capable of firing but no ammunition was found with it.

It is the same model which was used by the Royal Irish Constabulary pre-independence.

Mooney of Bradford Walk, Ballinteer, Dublin pleaded guilty to possession of the weapon on the Tallaght Bypass on November 17, 2014.

Judge Melanie Greally sentenced Mooney to three years in prison which she suspended in full on condition that he be of good behaviour for two years and engage with the Probation Service for 18 months.

She further ordered that he live with his mother, having heard evidence that she was now willing to have him at home with her. Judge Greally had previously heard that Mooney's parents had difficulty controlling him as he was being influenced by a negative peer group.

His father is now also willing to offer him a job and the prison term was suspended on the additional condition that Mooney take up that employment.

Garda Brian Curran told the sentence hearing in March that he stopped a car on the Tallaght Bypass after seeing someone inside throwing latex gloves out the window. Mooney was in the passenger seat and the garda noticed he was sitting on a package that contained the revolver.

Mooney was arrested and claimed he was transporting the gun because he owed €3,000 in a “drug debt.” He said he needed money because he didn't have anywhere to live.

He told gardaí he picked up the weapon the day before and he didn't know what it was to be used for. He refused to say how much he was getting paid to move it.

Judge Greally had previously ordered a probation report for Mooney and remanded him on bail having heard evidence in March. She noted at that time that the teenager faced a mandatory minimum sentence of five years.

The case was up again in May but having heard that Mooney had not been in contact with the Probation Service, Judge Greally revoked his bail and remanded him in custody to allow him to engage with them.