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Off to the County jail Criminal who threw dismembered body in lake jailed over drugs


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Philip County at Longford court on Tuesday

Philip County at Longford court on Tuesday

Philip County at Longford court on Tuesday

A woman claiming to be the sister of feared criminal Philip County claimed the media "get people killed" as the vicious thug was jailed this week.

The mobster, who gained notoriety after dismembering the body of Dublin man Keith Ennis in Holland in 2009 and dumping it in a Dutch lake and canal, was caged for two-and-a-half years at Longford Court.

County was sent down after gardai found more than E7,000 of cocaine and MDMA at his property.

"Are you a reporter, it's the likes of youse [sic] who get people killed," the woman fumed to our reporter at the restricted entrance to the courtroom.

"Why are you writing about my brother?" the masked woman barked. "Have you no family to go home to? How do you sleep at night?"

Chainsaw

Dubliner Keith Ennis (29) was stabbed to death in an apartment in Rotterdam in 2009 and his body was cut up with a chainsaw.

The head was severed and hidden in a suitcase which was dumped in a canal. The remains were found on February 24, 2009, in a lake in Amsterdam.

It was weeks before Dutch police identified the victim with the assistance from gardai and Interpol and as a result of DNA and identification from a distinctive tattoo on one of Ennis's arms.

County, originally from Lucan, Co Dublin, Barry McArdle (33) from Drimnagh and Kenneth Brunell (32) from Palmerstown, Co Dublin were sentenced to two years in prison for hiding a body.

Brunell and McArdle were later sentenced to 13 years each after being convicted of manslaughter.

Ennis's family have always insisted he was murdered over "a personal matter".

County (33) was given a two and a half year sentence on Tuesday after he pleaded guilty to the possession of cocaine and MDMA with a street value of €7,298 during a raid on his home in 2017.

When he has finished that sentence he will then be handed over to Dutch authorities to serve out a further eight months in prison in Holland.

Firearms

Armed Gardai raided County's premises at Edgeworthstown, Co Longford in October 2017, where they found the drugs stash.

County had previously been released on bail in May.

His bail was revoked just weeks later when it emerged he had a conviction at the Amsterdam Court of Appeal from May 2017 where he had been sentenced to 21 months in jail for the concealment, removal and disposal of Keith Ennis's body.

The court in Longford heard that County still had eight months left of the 21 month sentence to serve in the Netherlands for that incident, with Dutch law enforcement officials likely to seek his extradition to serve out the remainder of that sentence upon his release from Irish prison.

It also emerged that despite having a "reasonably good family support" County's mother has also been convicted of drugs possession.

Judge Johnston referred to County's prior convictions - of which he has more than 50 - including some for drugs and firearms offences.

The court also heard how gardai have warned County his life is under threat from unnamed criminals, and that his wife had left him in recent months.

In mitigation, Judge Johnson said County's early guilty plea had saved the State "the time, cost and expense of a criminal trial" while also commenting on his "forthright" admissions and cooperation with probation officers.

Sentence

He sentenced County to five years in prison with the final two and half years suspended on condition he enter a €500 bond to keep the peace and be of good behaviour for ten years.

On release from prison County was also ordered to submit himself to probation services for a period of 18 months and to remain drug free for the duration of the suspended sentence.