Belfast Telegraph

Tuesday 25 November 2014

Missing criminal 'dumped in woods'

Philip O'Toole vanished more than two weeks ago
Philip O'Toole vanished more than two weeks ago
Gardai at the scene in Trooperstown Wood near Laragh, Co Wicklow, where the body of a missing criminal was dumped in a ravine

A missing criminal is believed to have been murdered and his body dumped in a ravine in woods.

Philip O'Toole was last seen more than two weeks ago leaving the house he was sharing with friends in Arklow, Co Wicklow.

A body believed to be that of the 33-year-old father-of-one was discovered on Friday morning fully clothed and dumped in Trooperstown Wood, near Laragh.

The O'Toole family, who last Monday made an emotional appeal for information on his whereabouts, were notified of the find.

Originally from Bray, it is understood O'Toole fled his home town after being shot in the stomach in a suspected row between rival drug gangs in August 2011. He had a seven-month-old baby boy with his partner Jennifer Kelly.

Gardai said the remains were discovered at 10.55am. It is understood officers searched the woods following a tip-off. The ravine and surrounding woodland where the body was found were sealed off for technical examination and forensic checks. The body was removed for a post-mortem examination.

O'Toole, who did not co-operate with gardai during the investigation into the 2011 gun attack, had a string of convictions.

He was sentenced to six months for possession of cocaine with intent to supply in 2006. A year later, he was convicted of possession of a double-barrelled shotgun and ammunition, and was sentenced to four years.

He has also been convicted for trespassing with intent to burgle and possession of stolen goods, as well as a number of public order offences.

O'Toole was due to celebrate his 33rd birthday last Monday when his family issued an appeal for information on his whereabouts.

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