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mob target Solicitor facing prison for €120k welfare fraud says he fears gangland criminals will kill him in jail

Herbert Kilcline says information he provided to gardai during their investigation into the murder of Romanian teenager Marioara Rostas

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Herbert Kilcline helped with the investigation into Marioara’s death

Herbert Kilcline helped with the investigation into Marioara’s death

Herbert Kilcline helped with the investigation into Marioara’s death

A solicitor facing a 21-month jail sentence for social welfare fraud says he fears he could be killed in prison.

Herbert Kilcline says information he provided to gardai during their investigation into the murder of Romanian teenager Marioara Rostas led to the arrest of gangland criminal Alan Wilson.

Wilson, who was ultimately found not guilty of the teenager's murder, is currently serving a separate six-year-sentence over a gangland murder plot to murder Kinahan cartel enemy Gary Hanley.

Kilcline says he fears, once behind bars, he will be a target for associates of Wilson seeking revenge.

"If I'm put in with the general prison population, I will be in danger," Kilcline told the Sunday World.

"I might not survive it.

"I will have to ask for my safety to be watched over because I am a target."

On Thursday, Kilcline was given a week to get his affairs in order after being told he is facing 21 months in jail for fraudulently claiming €120,000 in social welfare payments.

The 60-year-old, who was impacted by the effects of the drug Thalidomide, had pleaded guilty to obtaining disability allowance on false pretences on dates between 1996 and 2001 and making a gain by deception in relation to social welfare payments on dates between 2004 and 2010.

Defects

Judge Karen O'Connor indicated a three-year sentence with the final one year and three months suspended, but agreed to defer sentence for one week.

During his trial, it emerged Kilcline had told gardai he felt he was entitled to the social welfare payments because he had been excluded from compensatory payments made to victims of birth defects caused by the Thalidomide drug.

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He has since repaid the money in full.

In December 2020, Kilcline was approved for inclusion in a separate Government scheme of supports for Thalidomide survivors.

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Alan Wilson was found not guilty of Marioara’s murder

Alan Wilson was found not guilty of Marioara’s murder

Alan Wilson was found not guilty of Marioara’s murder

Judge Karen O'Connor said Kilcline's moral culpability was very high, noting the offending was not motivated by financial pressure or gambling, but by a grievance and an element of greed.

The total amount fraudulently obtained was €129,293 and the entire period of offending taken into account was from 1996 to 2012.

The court heard that Kilcline had not been put forward previously as a child for the scheme by his parents as the effect on him was relatively minor then and they did not want to stigmatise him.

Kilcline said in 1992 he was officially diagnosed as a victim of Thalidomide, but was told that the State compensation scheme was out of time.

He then applied successfully for the means-tested disabled person's maintenance allowance.

He was legitimately granted this payment but failed to inform the department when he began working and when his financial situation changed.

Speaking after Thursday's court proceedings, Kilcline told the Sunday World: "When you have this condition, you are in constant pain and discomfort and I have had a huge sense of injustice all my life.

"I couldn't do things that everyone else could do. In 2012 the manufacturers of Thalidomide in Germany gave an apology and reopened a scheme for compensation and I was able to join that then.

"But when you have an obsession and a sense of injustice over what you can't do … well, that has controlled me all my life.

"I wasn't entitled to the disability allowance once my means exceeded a point but everybody on Thalidomide compensation gets paid compensation irrespective of means."

Asked how he feels about being sent to prison, Kilcline told the Sunday World: "I believe my life will be in danger.

"When I got involved in the Marioara Rostas case, I was told that these guys will kill you. Because of the struggles I have, the daily pain and strain, I actually didn't care.

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Mariora Rostas

Mariora Rostas

Mariora Rostas

"That's how I was, even when I got the GIM form [Garda Information Message officially warning a person their life is in danger]. I was actually shot at once, I was missed by about an inch, and I could feel the bullet going past me.

"But that didn't stop me; I have an obsessive approach to things.

"So I don't know … I might not survive it [jail].

"I would be at risk and I feel I would be at risk so I might have to be put into isolation.

"If I'm put in with the general prison population, I will be in danger.

"I have survived two murder attempts … and I wasn't allowed to stay in my house for a long time, I had to have a policeman watch over me.

Missing

"I will have to ask for my safety to be watched over because I am a target."

Gangland criminal Alan Wilson was acquitted by a jury of the murder of Marioara Rostas in July 2014.

The young Roma woman had only been in Ireland 18 days when she went missing while begging in Dublin's north inner city on January 6, 2008.

The prosecution failed to convince the jury she had got into a car with Wilson and had been taken to a house on Brabazon Street, near Dublin's Coombe Hospital, where she was assaulted and shot four times in the head.

It was argued that her remains were then driven to the mountains at Kippure on the Dublin-Wicklow border.

The prosecution's case rested almost entirely on the word of convicted criminal Fergus O'Hanlon, who was in a relationship with Wilson's sister at the time and living with her and their child at the house on Brabazon Street.

Wilson and his former friend O'Hanlon were arrested in October 2008 and questioned about the murder, but no progress was made in the investigation until late 2011.

O'Hanlon then told gardai he could help locate the body and give information about the crime.

Verdict

O'Hanlon, who had been granted immunity from prosecution, told the trial that he arrived home on January 8, 2008, to find a girl dead in his house and Wilson with a gun in his hand.

He said he helped his friend bury her body and clean up the scene, saying it was a case of "damned if you do and dead if you don't".

Ultimately, the jury found in Wilson's favour and returned a verdict of not guilty.

Kilcline previously told the Sunday World it was his role in convincing Wilson's former best pal O'Hanlon to give evidence that now puts him at risk.

"I was the one who convinced Alan's closest associate Fergus O'Hanlon to lead gardai to the site where Marioara was buried and give evidence against Alan Wilson," he told the Sunday World.

"This was what allowed gardai to charge him with Marioara's murder - a crime of which a jury acquitted him."

Wilson was released from Mountjoy Prison in August 2017 after a separate conviction for carrying out a meat cleaver attack on a man during a burglary was overturned by the Supreme Court.

At that stage, Wilson had already served most of a six-year sentence relating to an incident in which he attacked a man after breaking into his home at Dromheath Drive, Blanchardstown in June 2009.

But in July 2019, Wilson was jailed again.

He was given a six-year-sentence after he was secretly recorded by gardai conspiring with fellow gunmen in a Kinahan cartel orchestrated plot to assassinate Dublin man Gary Hanley.

Passing sentence on Alan Wilson, Mr Justice Hunt said the conspiracy involved an "intricate" plan to kill in the context of an "ongoing feud" and the defendant had been prepared to carry out the role for financial gain.

Wilson is currently incarcerated in the Midlands Prison.

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