Woman convicted of helping evil murderer Daniel Carroll says she is 'living in fear'

'I'm living in fear of my life, from both him (Carroll) and people connected to Brian Phelan'
Samantha Collins this week

Samantha Collins this week

Paula Mackin

A woman convicted of helping murderer Daniel Carroll says she is living in fear of her life.

Samantha Collins, who received a two-year suspended sentence earlier this for assisting convicted killer Carroll, claims she regrets her involvement with the psycho who claimed the life of Brian Phelan.

When confronted by the Sunday World in her home town of Newry, Co Down, this week she played down her role in the aftermath of the murder, insisting she only did what she did because Carroll was violent towards her.

And she said that she regretted the minute she met the kidnapper turned killer and never knew his reputation or what he was capable off.

"I'm living in fear of my life, from both him (Carroll) and people connected to Brian Phelan.

"I'm terrified to go out on my own - my mum or partner have to come with me. It's not fair. I was not directly involved in the murder, I didn't know at the time that there had been a murder," Samantha told the Sunday World.

"I never even knew that much about him. I never knew his reputation around here. I regret the very second I met him and of course I regret what I did but at the time I had no choice.

"I think I have been badly treated by people and the papers saying I should rot in jail," she said.

Daniel Carroll is awaiting sentence

Daniel Carroll is awaiting sentence

However, at sentencing Judge Gordon Kerr QC said it was clear she had knowledge that Daniel Carroll had murdered Brian Phelan.

Carroll was given a life sentence for murder but is due before the court to learn the minimum tariff imposed on him.

"I didn't know, I hope they throw the book at him, yes I do. I just want to move on, put an end to all of this and get one with my life. At the minute I'm too scared to stay in my own home," she added.

Refraining from imposing a custodial sentence, Judge Kerr said given the fact the Carroll was arrested less than 90 minutes after he left Collins' house, he did "not think she impeded the proper investigation or the police arrest". He said he also accepted that while it did not amount to a defence of duress, "there was a degree of pressure" on Collins given Carroll's record and the fact that he had just committed murder.

Collins entered guilty pleas to assisting an offender on July 26 2018 and withholding information from the day of the murder until February 23 this year.

Brian Phelan

Brian Phelan

Dan Carroll stabbed father-of-two Brian five times - three to the neck and two to his chest, at the top of the Carrivekeeney Road in Newry before leaving him to bleed to death in a nearby garden.

The motive remains unclear yet it is believed to have been over a small debt. As he lay fatally wounded, Mr Phelan called his girlfriend, asking her to come to him and repeatedly telling her "I'm dying" before calling 999 himself.

The distressing and harrowing 999 call was played to the jury and they heard him tell the operator "I've been stabbed, I'm dying, I'm dying," telling the 999 operator "my mate, my mate Dan" had been his attacker.

It was during this time Carroll drove to Collins' home where he changed his blood-soaked T-shirt and washed himself clean in her bathroom.

Collins also overheard the phone calls Carroll made in the aftermath of the murder but she failed to bring that information to the police.

Brian’s former partner Amanda O’Riordan at his grave with their children

Brian’s former partner Amanda O’Riordan at his grave with their children

Carroll, who has previous convictions for assaulting an ex and her dad and for kidnapping a woman off the street in Dundalk and assaulting her, denied any knowledge or involvement until 15 months after the brutal murder.

He then claimed three men, who he had been introduced to by dissident republicans, came over the mountain and attacked Mr Phelan before threatening him.

The case against Carroll, who is waiting to hear what the minimum tariff will be before he can even be considered for release on licence, is due to be reviewed next week.

Collins has been warned she would have to serve the two years sentence if she committed further offences.

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