Judge hands cash to mum of notorious Dumbrell clan

NewsBy Alan Sherry
Warren Dumbrell
Warren Dumbrell

MEET the Dublin mammy who raised Ireland’s most-infamous criminal brothers who have spread murder, violence and chaos both inside and outside of prison.

Margaret Dumbrell

This week, Margaret Dumbrell was in court looking for the return of bail money she had put up for her son, thug Leroy, to be returned – despite the fact it was forfeited after he continuously breached his bail conditions.

Dublin District Court also heard that gardaí raised “serious concerns” that the cash had been collected as a result of his suspected involvement in “organised crime”. 

It is not the first time hospital worker Margaret has had to come to court because of concerns about one of her sons. 

In total, five Dumbrell brothers  – Warren, Jeffrey, Leroy, Leonard and Tommy – have managed to amass a total of more than 400 criminal convictions.

Thomas Dumbrell

They include murder, assault, possession of firearms, assaulting gardai, drugs offences, threats to kill, car thefts and violent disorder. 

Even when they have been put behind bars, the Dumbrells have continued to cause chaos – orchestrating riots and attacks on inmates and prison staff.

Her two sons, Jeffrey (35) and Warren (41), who are currently serving life sentences for the murder of Christy Cawley, are regarded as two of the country’s most violent and erratic prisoners.

However, this week, Margaret – described as a “very worthy mother” by Judge James O’Donohoe – yet again made the trek into the District Courts as a result of one of her son’s actions.

Leroy Dumbrell

In April, her jailhouse hardman son Leroy (29), who now uses the name Leroy Roche, was sentenced to seven years for separate offences of violent disorder and threatening to kill a garda. 

Mrs Dumbrell coughed up €3,000 so Leroy could get out on bail for the violent disorder charge. 

Despite repeated strenuous objections by gardaí, he received bail on three occasions. However, it was revoked on all three occasions because he continuously breached the conditions, including not abiding by a curfew, meeting with criminal figures, not being at a given address and even committing further crimes. 

While out on bail on one occasion in May last year, Detective Garda Ronan McMorrow called to advise him he was in danger of breaching the conditions of his release.  

Leonard Dumbrell

Dumbrell told the detective: “You bring me back to court and you’ll regret it. Mark my words you c*** – I’ll come after you one way or another.”

After identifying Garda McMorrow’s personal car, he said: “I’ll f***ing find out about you.”

“Bring plenty of men and firepower if you’re coming for me, as you’ll need it.”

He later said Garda McMorrow would “need a body bag”.

As a result of Dumbrell breaching his bail conditions on numerous occasions, his mother lost the €3,000. 

However, at a District Court appeal this week, Judge James O’Donohoe ordered that €1,500 of that cash be returned so Mrs Dumbrell could help pay off money owed for the funeral of another son, Justin, who died last year. 

Counsel for the state had questioned what the point was in having an independent surety put up as bail in the first place if it was going to be returned despite conditions being continuously broken.  

He added: “With this, I’d be afraid there would be a rush of arguments claiming hardship. The surety was advised that if your son messes up you lose.”

The court also ordered that a further €360 be given to Mrs Dumbrell to pay her lawyer for the appeal. 

Counsel acting for Mrs Dumbrell said she worked sterilising surgical equipment in St James’s Hospital and was also in receipt of social welfare. 

He said that she had to foot the €8,125 bill for the funeral of her son Justin, who died on June 19 last year.  While €6,200 of this sum was paid, the balance remained outstanding.

However, Garda John Altendorf of Kevin Street Garda station raised concerns about where the €3,000 came from in the first place. 

“I would have cause for concern where this money came from. I believe her son is involved in organised crime. We raised issues at the time over where the money came from,” he said.

The State also argued that other family members could cover the cost of the funeral.

However, Judge O’Donohoe said: “She comes across to me as an honest person. Just because her sons are involved isn’t her fault. She comes across to me as a very worthy mother. She’s working in a hospital, paying tax and receiving social welfare.”

He also stressed it was “a very isolated incident” and “very extenuating circumstances”.

Mrs Dumbrell declined to comment after the case. 

Leroy first came to Garda attention while still a teenager in 2002 when he was one of three youths who tortured a middle-aged woman in her south Dublin home, setting her clothes on fire and pouring boiling water over her during a horrific aggravated burglary. 

He has dozens of convictions for serious offences and is considered one of the country’s most dangerous prisoners after being linked to several incidents while incarcerated. 

His brothers Warren and Jeffrey, who are serving life for murder, are also considered among Ireland’s most dangerous prisoners. 

Jeffrey Dumbrell

Warren, who secured his first conviction at just 13, has 28 convictions for offences including assault, robbery, burglary, and possession of firearms and would likely have more had he not spent so much of his life in prison. 

He previously held a blood filled syringe to a prison officer’s neck during a hostage situation in Mountjoy Prison telling him he had “the virus” and he’d make him drink his blood.  

Jeffrey has a dozen convictions for offences including assault and larceny and threatening to rip the head off a prison officer. He also viciously attacked a female nurse while in prison over a year ago. 

Another brother, Leonard (27), has more 109 convictions for offences including car thefts, dangerous driving, assaulting a garda and violent disorder.

Another brother, Tommy (31), has 30 convictions for drugs, traffic and other offences. 

Their sister Leonie Dumbrell has convictions going back to the 1990s and in more recent years was convicted of violent behaviour over an incident where she threw  a “huge, smoked ham” at a security worker when she tried to leave a shop without paying for groceries. 

Leone Dumbrell

She went berserk at gardaí when she was taken into custody, spitting at one officer, calling gardaí “scumbags” and shouting “I’m a Dumbrell”. 

Another Dumbrell brother, Trevor (35), was not involved in crime, but previously hit the headlines after he claimed he had been accepted to go on Big Brother in 2005.

Trevor, a bisexual male model, did a series of high-profile interviews with newspapers saying he was going to “stir things up” in the house, but never appeared on the show.

His twin sister Tracy died from leukaemia at the age of nine. 

The father of some of the brothers, Colin Dumbrell, came from a well-off background, but previously gave an interview saying he wanted to turn to crime. 

Colin Dumbrell

“I’ve been a criminal all my life. I came from a wealthy family so I didn’t need to turn to crime,” he said.

“But I chose to and I’m not ashamed of it. I’ve done bank robberies and armed robberies and I don’t give a shit what people think of me.”

The couple split over 30 years ago, but Margaret kept the Dumbrell name and kids she had with her subsequent partner, Thomas Roche, were also called Dumbrell.