'Near impossible' | 

Gang boss Cornelius Price 'unable to move or talk' and is unlikely to face kidnap trial

“He is unable to move or talk and it seems that he will need more intense neurological treatment very soon. The prospect of him being fit to stand trial in six months' time are very slim indeed"
Ken Foy

Gangland boss Cornelius Price is never expected to face justice for his role in an organised kidnap and blackmail plot as he remains gravely ill in a Welsh hospital.

Price is charged with conspiring to falsely imprison and blackmail two men in July 2020 in the English midlands and is due to stand trial with five alleged associates in November.

However today sources said that English detectives believe the prospect of the case going ahead against Price is “near impossible.”

The development comes as associates of one of Ireland’s most notorious criminals were “spreading the word” that Price was making a recovery and was conscious and talking to people.

“The situation is this – he has very little cognitive ability. His only response to anything is when he opens his eyes when a relative visits him in hospital,” a source said.

“He is unable to move or talk and it seems that he will need more intense neurological treatment very soon.

"The prospect of him being fit to stand trial in six months' time are very slim indeed,” the source added.

Price along with the other defendants was due to go on trial at London’s Wood Green Crown Court last December but the case was adjourned after the court heard that Price was in a coma with doctors unsure as to when he will come out of it.

Price is due to stand trial with five alleged associates, Danny Bridges, 40, Mark Kavanagh, 33, Darren McClean, 36, Quincy Jarron Bramble, 33, and 38-year-old Lisa Marie Finnerty.

The case was adjourned after the court heard that Price was diagnosed with a condition called limbic encephalitis.

"He has been in the hospital for quite some time now,’ said Jason Avis, defending Price on that occasion.

"He is still ventilated at the moment. In terms of his on-going treatment and diagnosis, the consultant said that it is difficult to estimate when Price is likely to wake from his coma.

"It could be months or worst case scenario is it could be years.

"I believe he has been diagnosed with a condition called limbic encephalitis."

Price has been in a Welsh hospital since September and has been treated on an ICU ward and his very serious illness is not connected to any act of violence participated on him.

In March of last year, Price, who is part of the Maguire faction in the deadly Drogheda feud, was released on bail in the UK where he is awaiting trial for his part in a kidnapping plot.

He had been living in the Midlands in England but moved to Wales over the summer

Price is one of six people who have been charged in England over a plot to kidnap two men.

The gangster is charged with two counts of conspiring to falsely imprison Muhammed and Shah Ali last July, as well as two counts of conspiring to blackmail both men on the same dates.

One of Ireland’s most notorious criminals, Price has to wear an electronic tag as part of his bail conditions.

Drogheda criminal Mark Kavanagh (32) originally from Yellowbatter in the Co Louth town but with an address in Manchester - is also facing similar charges.

Price has been based in the UK since the gruesome murder of teenager Keane Mulready Woods in January of last year which was carried out by mobsters opposed to him in the Drogheda feud.

His gang are suspected of abducting and murdering Willie Maughan (34) and his pregnant Latvian girlfriend, Ana Varslavane, (21) on April 14, 2015, near Price’s compound in Gormanston, Co Meath.

The tragic pair were planning on moving out of the compound to go back to his family home in Tallaght on the day they went missing and are understood to have been brutally murdered because they had key information about the gang’s activities including another murder.

No trace of their bodies has ever been found but they are believed to have been burnt after their gruesome murder.

Price’s mob are also the chief suspects for the murder of the unsolved murder of Benny Whitehouse and Price was previously arrested for this crime.

Mr Whitehouse was shot dead at Clonard Street, Balbriggan, on September 25, 2014 in front of his partner as part of a separate feud.


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