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Ex-Provo Doris in jail after dropping appeal over fuel laundering case

By Staff Reporter

An IRA bomber found guilty of fuel laundering offences has withdrawn his appeal against the conviction and sentencing, it has emerged.

Gareth Malachy Doris was ordered to serve four months in prison, but immediately sought leave to appeal.

This was granted and he was released, but it now transpires the appeal was withdrawn a few weeks later and he is now serving the prison sentence.

The 39-year-old, from Gortnaskea Place, Coalisland, was convicted following a contested hearing in which he disputed any involvement in fuel laundering despite DNA evidence being found at three sites, one in Co Tyrone and two in Co Armagh.

Two others admitted their part in the case which, in their instances, related to laundered fuel being used by a Tyrone coach company. The loss of revenue to HMRC in this matter was £2,061.

Doris continued to deny the charges, and after a trial he was convicted.

Dungannon Magistrates Court had heard police and HMRC officials attended the coach company premises in Ardboe on March 19, 2014.

Four persons were on site, one of which was believed to be Doris, but he fled on foot.

A car was located in the coach yard that was registered to him and a phone was discovered inside. Although this was not registered to Doris, his DNA was recovered from the battery.

He was later arrested but he denied being at the premises or having any involvement in the operation.

Doris claimed to have loaned his car to someone else, but declined an opportunity to provide a name of the person to police or make a statement to that effect.

During police interview he provided a DNA specimen, before making a pre-prepared statement denying involvement, then gave "no comment" replies to all other questions.

A search of the DNA database also threw up matches to two fuel laundering sites in Armagh.

Doris had declined to give evidence on his own behalf and was warned by District Judge John Meehan that failure to do so meant inferences from his decision could be drawn.

Handing down a sentence of four months, Judge Meehan told Doris: "You are the type of offender who engages in free living at the cost of others. You have shown no remorse or care."

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