Hutch n go | 

Kinahan target James ‘Mago’ Gately gets free legal aid in CAB battle over family home

Gately and his partner Charlotte Lam had claimed last month they were too broke to pay lawyers to fight the High Court case

James 'Mago' Gately carries the coffin of his friend Gary Hutch

Charlene Lam

Eamon DillonSunday World

Kinahan Cartel target James ‘Mago’ Gately has won his first battle with the Criminal Assets Bureau after getting free legal aid to fight their case against him.

Hutch associate Gately and his partner Charlene Lam had claimed last month they were too broke to pay lawyers to fight the High Court case which centres on their family home in Coolock.

CAB had claimed the couple had indulged in luxury holidays and spent €440,000 refurbishing their Coolock home.

But Judge Alex Owens in his ruling today said it looks as they have “insufficient means” to pay for legal representation.

He said while “in times gone by there was spending” with cruises in the Caribbean and Asia they now fall within the provision for legal aid.

While there was evidence of spending in the past, he said, “things were beginning to dry up of late.”

Having read the affidavits filed on both sides Judge Owens said it is an “important matter” in which their family home is stake.

He allowed for a solicitor and junior counsel to be appointed and refuse and application for a senior counsel to be included.

At last month’s hearing it was stated the couple had taken luxury cruises and enjoyed “eye- watering” foreign travel.

Charlene Lam

The legal battle is over their family home in Coolock, two cars and a €4,400 ladies Rolex watch which CAB alleges were paid for with the proceeds of crime.

Opposing the application, counsel for CAB at that hearing had said the couple had enjoyed ‘eye- watering’ foreign travel.

They went on two cruises including one that started in Singapore in which they had a cabin complete with a balcony visiting Korea, Japan and China.

James Gately said in an affidavit he hasn’t been able to work since October 2015 because of threat to his life but the property cars and jewellery were all bought with legitimate income.

He said that he has had to rely on the support of his partner and family members, but had previously worked as a barber and ran a sweet shop.

He claims the €125,000 for the house bought in 2013 came from his savings which he also built up from working at a beauty business.

James 'Mago' Gately carries the coffin of his friend Gary Hutch

In her affidavit Ms Lam provided details of her income from a beauty shop business and from her PAYE job and that she is “solely responsible” for the upkeep of the household since her partner’s inability to work because of the death threats.

Hutch associate Gately had been warned in 2016 by gardaí of a threat to his life from criminals who believed him to be involved in the Regency Hotel murder of Kinahan Cartel associate David Byrne in February 2016.

In May 2017, he survived being shot five times as he sat in his car at a Topaz petrol station on the Clonshaugh Road in north Dublin.

Four of the shots hit a bullet proof vest Gately was wearing while one struck him in the jaw.

He received treatment from an off-duty nurse at the scene and lived to tell the tale.

Caolan Smyth was sentenced to 20 years for the hit attempt in February of last year and shouted “five World Cups and I’ll be out” at his sentence hearing.

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