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'Plea bargain' Thomas ‘Bomber’ Kavanagh trying to hammer out a deal with The Crown Prosecution Service

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Thomas 'Bomber' Kavanagh arriving at Stoke-on-Trent Crown Court in the UK

Thomas 'Bomber' Kavanagh arriving at Stoke-on-Trent Crown Court in the UK

Thomas 'Bomber' Kavanagh arriving at Stoke-on-Trent Crown Court in the UK

Gangland boss Thomas ‘Bomber’ Kavanagh, who is facing a hefty sentence after pleading guilty to drug trafficking and money laundering, is trying to hammer out a deal with The Crown Prosecution Service to avoid a lengthy Newton Hearing. 

Kinahan Cartel lieutenant Kavanagh (53) as well as Gary Vickery (38) and Daniel Canning (42) pleaded guilty to conspiring to import class A and B drugs, and money laundering, at Ipswich Crown Court last July.

Canning also admitted possessing a firearm and ammunition following a major four-year National Crime Agency (NCA) and Garda investigation.

The Criminal Assets Bureau say they are part of the international Kinahan drugs Cartel that is run from Dubai but which was set up in Ireland.

Essex News & Investigations report that their case was up for mention on Thursday at the same court, when the judge was told he may not have to preside over a Newton hearing.

Both sides are understood to be trying to come to an agreement on the basis of the pleas by all three men – with the defence hoping to secure them better sentences.

A Newton hearing, which is held before a judge without a jury present, is there for the purposes of settling such disputes.

Judge Martyn Levett told the court that there had been issues concerning disclosure of evidence with the case.

"In August we are due to deal with the Newton hearing,” he said. “A disclosure matter is outstanding that may be of some substance to whatever negotiations have been taking place or are due to take place to avoid the Newton hearing."

Richard Furlong, representing Canning, said: "We are still in negotiations, but Mr Kavanagh's team is leading the negotiations and are really guided by them in terms of resolving matters, so I defer to Mr Scobie."

James Scobie. defending Kavanagh, spoke for all three defendants.

He said: "I am very confident that following a conference with my client on April 15, we will be looking, with the co-accused to come to an agreement with the prosecution as to the basis of our pleas, which will avoid any Newton hearing and we will avoid cause any further delay or uncertainty regarding a Newton trial, which will be - music to your honour's ears.

"All sorts of negotiations have been going on and I am grateful for the Crown."

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Judge Levett said: "It is music to my ears that we might have to avoid a disclosure argument that may take up to a day and to avoid a Newton hearing, but I am keeping an open mind bearing in mind Mr Scobie still needs to have his conference (with Kavanagh)."

He added that sentencing will not take place before August - more than a year after the guilty please, as revealed by Essex News and Investigations this week.

The case has been dogged by delays due to the coronavirus pandemic, a growing court backlog and travel restrictions.

His co-accused Daniel Canning and Gary Vickery remain on bail despite the seriousness of their offences and their guilty pleas to major drugs importation charges.

Kavanagh is already in Dovegate Prison after being jailed in 2019 for a three-year sentence for possessing a stun gun disguised as a torch, which was discovered during a raid on his mansion, complete with bullet-proof glass, in Tamworth, Staffordshire.

Kavanagh worked for decades as the UK partner of Daniel Kinahan and a key part of his drugs gang.

He moved to Birmingham in the late 1990s after he had been targeted by the Criminal Assets Bureau here and settled in the affluent suburb of Tamworth.

Gardai believe that following the murder of his brother-in-law David Byrne at the Regency Hotel in 2016, he formed a blood bond with Kinahan and that his personnel, expertise and weapons were used in a number of feud hits and attempted murders.

An underworld source told Essex News and Investigations that he is convinced that a deal is being thrashed out to lessen their sentences.

After the guilty pleas NCA deputy director of investigations Matt Horne said: "Today’s guilty pleas are the culmination of a four-year investigation into Thomas Kavanagh and his co-conspirators, who were part of a significant international crime network, capable of organising multimillion pound shipments of drugs.

“We have worked throughout with our colleagues at An Garda Síochána, and I hope these convictions send out a strong message to others who may think themselves to be untouchable. “We will be relentless in our pursuit of those involved in organised criminality.”

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