Guilty verdict  | 

Fourth member of 'murder cell' involved in David Douglas feud shooting to be sentenced later this year

Mr Douglas was shot dead by associates of the Kinahan cartel as part of the gangland feud which has claimed up to 18 lives

Lee Canavan

Robin Schiller

The fourth member of a “murder cell” involved in the fatal gun attack on David ‘Daithi’ Douglas will be sentenced later this year.

Lee Canavan (32) faces the mandatory life sentence after being found guilty at the Special Criminal Court of the murder in Dublin’s city centre five years ago.

Mr Douglas was shot dead by associates of the Kinahan cartel as part of the gangland feud which has claimed up to 18 lives.

Canavan stood trial before the non-jury court after pleading not guilty to the murder of David Douglas (55) on July 1, 2016 on Bridgefoot Street in Dublin 8.

The accused, of Edenbrook in Rathfarnham, Dublin 14, also denied a second charged of criminal damage to a vehicle linked to the shooting three days later in Sandymount.

David Douglas

It was the prosecution’s case that Lee Canavan was the gunman who pulled the trigger. This morning the three judges found him guilty of both charges.

They said that, while they did no accept beyond reasonable doubt that he was the gunman, they were satisfied he was part of a joint criminal enterprise involved in the murder.

The case against him relied on CCTV footage, DNA evidence, fingerprints recovered from one vehicle, and identification of him by gardaí.

During the trial, an eyewitness described how the gunman "smirked" and walked away after firing shots into the shop where Mr Douglas was working.

Lee Canavan is the last of a four man murder cell to be convicted in relation to the fatal shooting.

Notorious gangland criminal ‘Fat’ Freddie Thompson (41), who directed the kill plot, was previously jailed for life over the murder.

Foot solider Nathan Foley (23), described as a ‘gillie’, was sentenced to six years imprisonment for helping the gang involved in the gun attack.

Canavan’s half brother Gareth Brophy (25), one of the getaway drivers, was given a nine-and-a-half year jail term for facilitating the murder.

Presiding judge Mr Justice Michael McGrath, sitting with Ms Justice Sinéad Ní Chúlacháin and Mr Justice Dermot Dempsey, said that the murder was meticulously planned.

Four cars were involved, including a Mercedes described as the “ultimate murder car” and a Suzuki described as the “ultimate getaway” car.

Two other vehicles, a Ford Fiesta and a Mitsubishi, were involved in surveillance and were travelling in convoy on the day of the murder.

Mr Justice McGrath said that Canavan was involved in the attempted destruction of the Suzuki on July 4, 2016, to try and minimise his link to the shooting.

Sentencing was adjourned until July 19 and Lee Canavan, watching proceedings via video-link, was remanded in custody.

Lead investigator Det Chief Supt Paul Cleary said the conviction was significant in that all four involved in carrying out the murder plot have been convicted.

The senior investigating officer also said that the victim’s family are very satisfied with the outcome.

“As you are aware Lee Canavan was convicted of murder of David Douglas at the Special Criminal Court.

“We have been speaking to the family of David Douglas and they are very satisfied with this result her today.

“It’s a very significant conviction insofar as all four members of the team involved in the murder.

“This is a team who were involved, as the judge said, in meticulous planning, preparation, transport, logistics, execution and cover up of the murder of David Douglas.”

Det Chief Supt Cleary also acknowledged the work of the detective units in Kevin Street and Kilmainham garda stations, who were assisted by national units.

This included the National Bureau of Criminal Investigation (NBCI) and the Garda Technical Bureau.

The senior detective described it as a challenging investigation with three of the main suspects fleeing the jurisdiction after the killing.

“Overall with the assistance of the community in Dublin 8, we were able to paint a very clear picture for the Special Criminal Court and all four members of the murder team have been convicted.

“This team were very forensically aware and they did a lot of planning. It was very significant to get the four member cell involved in the murder of David Douglas.

“This gang operated in a joint enterprise, they all had different and very well defined roles, and shows the level of planning that went into this murder enterprise,” he said.

Det Chief Supt Cleary added it was significant to get the whole team involved in the gangland murder.

Today's Headlines

More Courts

Download the Sunday World app

Now download the free app for all the latest Sunday World News, Crime, Irish Showbiz and Sport. Available on Apple and Android devices

WatchMore Videos