| 8.3°C Dublin

Botched attempt Stephen Fowler jailed for role in Kinahan plot to murder Hutch gangster James 'Mago' Gately

Fowler (62) was sentenced to six years and nine months for his "logistical" involvement in the murder plot

Close

Stephen Fowler was part of the ‘Mago’ Gately conspiracy. Photo: Collins Courts

Stephen Fowler was part of the ‘Mago’ Gately conspiracy. Photo: Collins Courts

Stephen Fowler was part of the ‘Mago’ Gately conspiracy. Photo: Collins Courts

A grandfather whose son was murdered in a drugs feud has been jailed for his involvement in a botched attempt by the Kinahan cartel to murder rival Hutch gang member James 'Mago' Gately.

Stephen Fowler, who was serving the suspended part of a drugs sentence at the time, is the sixth man to be jailed by the non-jury Special Criminal Court in what the judge said was the "ongoing targeting" of Gately's life.

Gately, who also survived a second attempt on his life in May 2017, had been warned 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.

Yesterday at the three-judge court, Fowler (62) was sentenced to six years and nine months for his "logistical" involvement in the murder plot.

Presiding judge Mr Justice Tony Hunt suspended the last 15 months of the sentence for three years.

Close

James 'Mago' Gately

James 'Mago' Gately

James 'Mago' Gately

 

Fowler pleaded guilty last month to the single charge.

The offence relates to dates between December 7, 2016, and April 4, 2017, at a location or locations within the State, when Gately was in Belfast.

In 2012, Fowler pleaded guilty to possession of cannabis worth €450,000 and served six years of an eight-year sentence before being released on June 7, 2016.

The court previously heard that Fowler had taken responsibility for a debt associated with his son Eric Fowler (34), who was shot dead in his driveway at Blakestown Cottages in December 2018.

The court has heard in previous related cases that there was "ongoing targeting" of Gately and that Estonian assassin Imre Arakas was brought to Ireland in April 2017 to carry out the murder of Gately before being caught by gardaí.

Close

Imre Arakas

Imre Arakas

Imre Arakas

Sunday World Newsletter

Sign up for the latest news and updates

This field is required This field is required

Yesterday, Mr Justice Hunt said that Fowler collected Arakas, who was already under Garda surveillance, in a van branded 'Blakestown Tyres' at Barry's Hotel in Dublin city centre and brought him to his home at Blakestown Cottages on April 3, 2016.

Mr Justice Hunt said that Fowler and Arakas were both arrested on April 4, 2017, at Blakestown Cottages in Clonsilla, Dublin 15.

The judge said that gardaí seized a Blackberry phone and matched the movements of Arakas and members of the gang to a murder plot to kill Gately.

The plot involved the placing of tracker devices on cars belonging to Gately and others, including his sister, in March 2017.

Mr Justice Hunt said that the maximum jail sentence, pre-mitigation, was 15 years but placed Fowler's involvement in the "upper mid-range", which carried a nine-year sentence.

The judge said that Fowler's role in the plot was "logistical", that Fowler was operating under the "direction of others" and was involved in the plot as a "favour".

In mitigation, the judge said that Fowler was a 62-year-old married man with a family and that the court was satisfied with Fowler's guilty plea and his co-operation.

The judge noted Fowler's age and the age he will be upon his release from jail and said there was also a "realistic" possibility of rehabilitation for Fowler.

After being sentenced, Fowler said "scumbags... everything they said was lies", adding "you f***ing write that" to a court reporter before being led away by a prison officer.

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


Privacy