Belfast Telegraph

Mother and son to be sentenced for roles in Armagh crime gang

Five people appeared before Newry Crown Court sitting in Belfast.
Five people appeared before Newry Crown Court sitting in Belfast.

by Ashleigh McDonald

Five people including a mother and son were told on Tuesday that they will be sentenced next month for the roles they played in an Armagh-based criminal enterprise.

Cash amounting to around £500,000 in both sterlings and euros and several luxury watches were seized as a result of two police 'interceptions' during the summer of 2016, with five people arrested and charged with various offences.

The five co-accused appeared together at Newry Crown Court, sitting in Belfast, were a Crown prosecutor outlined their differing roles.

Darren Barry Anthony Donnelly, a 33-year old father of three from Roscavey Road in Beragh, admitted possessing criminal property on August 17, 2016 - namely £214,216 and €224,760 which was found in packages when his lorry was stopped by police.

Armagh father of three Joseph Despard, from Salters Grange Road, admitted possessing criminal property namely £10,010 on July 13, 2016, as well as possessing counterfeit currency in the form of 91 fake pound coins.

Conor James Patrick Toal - who the court heard doesn't work, doesn't claim benefits and who is supported financially by his wealthy partner - is from Mullacreevie Park in Armagh and pleaded guilty to three offences.

The 32-year old admitted transferring criminal property, namely £214,216 and €224,760, on August 17 2016, and of possessing criminal property in the form of two Rolex watches, a Tag Heuer Watch and a Breitling watch along with £4,690 on the same date. In addition, he admitted concealing criminal property, namely £79,450, on July 13, 2016.

Eugene Thomas (33) from Callan Crescent also admitted transferring criminal property, namely  £10,010, on July 13, as well as two counts of possessing criminal property. The latter two charges take the form of £103,980, a Raymond Weil watch, a Rolex Sky Dweller watch and a Rolex Cosmograph watch.

His mother, 57-year old Mary Thomas who works two jobs as a school and a hospital cleaner, admitted a single charge of concealing criminal property. This charge relates to a Rolex Sky Dweller watch and a Rolex Cosmograph watch which were found in her wardrobe during a search of her Callan Crescent house on July 13, 2016.

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