Belfast Telegraph

Saturday 26 July 2014

Prime suspect in Guerin murder is found dead in cell

Patrick Holland

The prime suspect in the murder of Irish journalist Veronica Guerin has been found dead in a prison on the Isle of Wight.

Career criminal Patrick “Dutchy” Holland was discovered in a cell at Parkhurst Prison where he was serving an eight-year sentence for masterminding a £10 million ‘honeytrap’ kidnap plot.

The UK Prison Service said the 70-year-old appeared to have died from natural causes.

Holland, who denied any involvement in the 1996 assassination of Ms Guerin, had suffered heart problems in recent times.

The vicious gangster was convicted last year of secretly filming and taping a plan to abduct a businessman and keep him prisoner until a massive ransom had been paid.

In 1981 he was given seven years for an armed robbery at Dublin’s Berkeley Court Hotel. He was later sentenced to 10 years for possessing explosives, detonators and fuse wire.

Then in 1997, not long after Ms Guerin was killed by a motorcycle pillion passenger, which senior gardai are convinced was Holland's work, he was arrested for possession of 10kg of cannabis resin.

At his trial at the Special Criminal Court in Dublin, arresting officer Garda Marion Cusack said she believed he killed the 37-year-old crime reporter.

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