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10 years' jail for getaway driver's 'critical role' in gangland hit

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Victim: David Douglas was shot six times in his partner’s shop

Victim: David Douglas was shot six times in his partner’s shop

Victim: David Douglas was shot six times in his partner’s shop

A man who drove the gunman to and from the gangland murder of David Douglas, who was shot six times in front of his daughter, has been given a 10-year sentence.

The Special Criminal Court heard getaway driver Gareth Brophy (25) later accidentally set fire to his trousers while attempting to burn out the stolen Mercedes used in the murder.

Brophy, of Reuben Walk, Dublin 8, pleaded guilty before Christmas to helping facilitate the murder of Mr Douglas, who was shot dead in July 2016 at the height of the Hutch-Kinahan feud.

Notorious Dublin criminal Freddie Thompson is currently serving life in prison after he was convicted of the murder of Mr Douglas in August 2018.

Yesterday at the Special Criminal Court, Mr Justice Paul Coffey jailed Brophy for 10 years with the final six months suspended.

The judge said Brophy had a "critical role" at a "critical phase" of Mr Douglas's murder. He said it was "manifest from all the evidence, David Douglas was the victim of a gangland execution-style murder".

After he was sentenced, Brophy, who was wearing a wine-coloured sweater, blue jeans and black and white runners, blew a kiss to three women in the body of the court while he was led away by prison guards.

Brophy was previously charged with the murder of Mr Douglas and his trial was scheduled to begin in the Special Criminal Court on January 13.

However, just before Christmas, Brophy pleaded guilty to a lesser charge of helping to facilitate Mr Douglas's murder.

Mr Douglas (55) was shot six times as he took a meal break at the counter of his partner's shop, Shoestown, on Bridgefoot Street, Dublin 8, on July 1, 2016.

Yesterday Mr Justice Coffey said at the time of his "intricately planned" murder, Mr Douglas was working with his daughter in a shop owned by his partner.

He said, shortly after 4pm on July 1, 2016, an "unidentified" male walked into the shop with a semi-automatic pistol and shot Mr Douglas six times.

The emergency services rushed him to St James's Hospital where he was pronounced dead.

He said the gunman was driven to and from the shooting by Brophy in a stolen Mercedes before the Mercedes was burnt out and Brophy and the gunman decamped to a Suzuki Swift.

The judge said Brophy's DNA and palm print were later found in the Suzuki, while Brophy was caught on CCTV while he was a passenger in the car just after the shooting.

Mr Justice Coffey said Brophy's role was to get the gunman to the scene of the murder, to wait for him as he carried out the murder and then to drive him to another location.

Mr Justice Coffey said the offence had a maximum penalty of 15 years' imprisonment.

Irish Independent