independent

Sunday 20 April 2014

Fat Freddie's uncle found dead in prison

Drug dealer John Brannigan, an uncle of ‘Fat’ Freddie Thompson, has been found dead in his prison cell.

Brannigan (49) was a chronic drug addict and was serving an 11-year prison sentence for drug dealing.

His body was found in his cell in Wheatfield Prison in Dublin yesterday.

Foul play is not suspected in his death and it is believed he suffered a heart attack. He had suffered heart problems in recent years.

A Prison Service spokesman confirmed to the Herald |today that an inmate had died and the death was being |investigated.

The news will come as a blow to Dubliner ‘Fat’ Freddie who is due to tie the knot with his partner Vicky Dempsey (32) in the New Year.

Criminal godfather Christy Kinahan and dozens of mobsters are expected at the lavish bash in Birmingham.

Police in the UK are on alert ahead of the wedding of the mob boss.

The couple got engaged almost a year ago and pals are expected to jet in from Ireland, Amsterdam and Spain as well as from other parts of the UK.

Although Vicky enjoyed her hen party in Ireland last weekend, Thompson (32) is believed to be planning a trip to Spain for his stag.

The uncle of gangland boss ‘Fat’ Freddie, Brannigan was not expected to be released from prison until at least 2018.

He was the father of one of ‘Fat' Freddie's closest friends Liam Brannigan.

Dublin Circuit Criminal Court sentenced John Brannigan to an extra year in prison in July 2011 for possession of a stolen motorbike.

Brannigan, a former hospital porter, did not have a key to a stolen blue Honda bike when gardai raided his home in Dublin's south inner city even though he claimed to have bought it for €580.

Brannigan accepted in a garda interview that it would be suspicious “in normal circumstances” to buy a motorbike without receiving a key for it, but said the man who sold it to him was on drugs and he assumed he was desperate for money.

Sources suspected that the stolen bike may have been stored by Brannigan for use by ‘Fat' Freddie's gang.

Brannigan had received a 15-year sentence with the final four suspended in 2010 after he pleaded guilty to possession of drugs for sale or supply at his home on six dates.

The drugs seized included heroin, cocaine and crack cocaine Brannigan had made himself. The values of the drugs recovered ranged between €3,000 on one search and over €20,613 on another.

extraordinary

Judge Katherine Delahunt said it was an “extraordinary case” as Brannigan had been dealing drugs from the one location for a year and a half, having been caught six times.

“You continued to use the same house, which indicated you were a chronic addict seeking to fund your own addiction,” the judge told him.

Judge Delahunt expressed her surprise that Brannigan was not in custody as the cases against him progressed. “One rarely sees such continuing offending over such a relatively short period of time.”

Brannigan's son Liam is regularly seen with gang boss ‘Fat' Freddie.

In 2008, Brannigan Sr tried to take the blame when his son was caught with a “golf ball” of cocaine. However the judge did not believe this and Liam was given a two-year suspended sentence for the offence.

hnews@herald.ie

 

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