horror crime | 

Revealed - Face of woman who assisted kidnapper turned killer Daniel Carroll

Murder victim's partner slams the suspended term for killer's helper
Samantha Collins

Samantha Collins

Paula Mackin

This is the woman who assisted a killer who left two innocent children without their father.

Samantha Collins was handed a suspended prison sentence on Wednesday at Newry Crown Court for her role in helping the murderer of Bessbrook man Brian Phelan.

Brian was stabbed to death by kidnapper turned killer Daniel Carroll who was convicted of the vicious murder and is waiting to hear the minimum tariff he will serve before he can be released on licence.

This decision is expected to be reviewed next week.

Amanda O'Riordan, the mother of Brian's two children, who has fought tirelessly for justice for the man she still loves, says she is disgusted by the sentence handed down to Collins.

The Newry woman said Collins should be behind bars just like the man who took her former partner's life.

Amanda O'Riordan pictured with her and Brian's two children Georgia and Brian at his graveside.

Amanda O'Riordan pictured with her and Brian's two children Georgia and Brian at his graveside.

"I'm absolutely disgusted by this - what type of example does it set for people? That you can help a killer get away with murder and then just go on with your normal life while my children's lives have been shattered," Amanda said.

"She should be in jail. She should be rotting behind bars because that's what she deserves.

"A two-year suspended sentence is a joke. There has been no justice here but I want everyone to know who she is and what she did and what she tried to do, help the man who killed my children's daddy in cold blood," she said.

Last week Collins' defence QC John Orr launched a Rooney application where a judge gives an indication of the likely sentence should a defendant plead guilty.

Alleged killer Daniel Carroll

Alleged killer Daniel Carroll

Collins, who appeared at court by videolink, 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

Charges of perverting the course of justice were left on the books.

In the days before Collins pleaded guilty, she had a physical altercation with Amanda who was questioned and released without charge.

The bad blood between the women looks unlikely to end.

"She was slabbering and then she pulled me by the back of my hair so I responded, I acted in self-defence and I would do it all over again, Amanda said.

"Knowing what she did you would think she would hang her head in shame but no, not her. Does her behaviour look like someone who is full of remorse?

"The judge said that she was probably terrified of Daniel Carroll but she visited him in prison for nearly a year and a half so to me that's just bulls**t.

"She knew what she was doing, she hid evidence, helped that murdering bastard change clothes and wipe Brian's blood off him."

Following a ten-day trial in September, 30-year-old Daniel Carroll was handed a life sentence after a jury unanimously convicted him of the savage and senseless murder.

During the trial the jury heard that for an unknown reason but possibly over a minor debt, Carroll stabbed Mr Phelan 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 men had gone to the rural road apparently to buy quad bikes but instead, Carroll attacked him and the jury saw CCTV footage of the stricken and bleeding victim trying to hide in the garden.

Carroll found him and "rifled" through his victim's pockets to retrieve his phone before fleeing in Mr Phelan's blue Peugeot.

As Brian took his last breath, Carroll drove to Collins' home where he changed his blood-soaked T-shirt and washed himself clean before getting a lift to his uncle's house and revealing to him he had "been in an altercation with a fella and there's rumours that he's dead".

His uncle gave evidence against his nephew in court.

It was that aspect of the brutal murder that has brought Collins before the court, and also that she overheard phone calls Carroll made when he was in the bathroom cleaning himself that she failed to report to the police.

Carroll was arrested a short time later but changed his story at that stage, telling the sergeant: "I didn't do anything - I was in the town."

The killer, who has previous convictions for assaulting an ex and her dad and for kidnapping a woman off the street in Dundalk and assaulting her, remained silent throughout police interviews, answering "no comment".

Sentencing Collins on Wednesday, Judge Kerr said Collins, from Parkview in the Cloghoge area of Newry, committed the offences by allowing Carroll "to use her house" to get changed, adding that while obviously serious and warranting a prison sentence, "she was in fear of Carroll and his family given what she had overheard".

Judge Kerr said given that pressure, coupled with Collins' guilty plea and clear record, "I consider that this is an appropriate case to suspend the sentence" but he warned Collins she would have to serve the two years if she committed further offences.


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