Belfast Telegraph

Law catches up with crook who went on run to Spain

A man once suspected of involvement in a UDA blackmail scam exposed by The Cook Report in the 1980s and who went on the run to Spain for 15 years has been jailed for 33 months.

Belfast Crown Court heard that Gary Marno (46), of Clonmeen, Drumgor, Craigavon — who was jailed for two years for his part in the building extortion scam — absconded after police told him of death threats against him.

At the time he was on bail for attempting to rob a Belfast city warehouse in November 1995 of £80,000 worth of coffee and sweets.

Marno had been granted compassionate bail last month to attend the funeral of his son, also Gary. Marno junior was found dead at a house in the Whitehill area of Bangor.

Police said the sudden death of the 25-year-old was not suspicious.

Jailing his father yesterday, Belfast Recorder Tom Burgess said he was sentencing him not for being on the run, but only for his involvement in the attempted burglary, “a carefully planned joint enterprise”. Crown lawyer David McAlister said that Marno was one of four men caught red-handed by the police attempting to burgle the Duncrue Street warehouse building.

Mr McAlister said that at the time Marno told police, who had video-recorded the entire operation, “simply that he was caught bang to rights and that's all he wanted to say”.

Solicitor advocate Richard Monteith said that when initially on bail, Marno went back into prison on |learning from police of death threats against him.

Belfast Telegraph

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