Sunday 22 July 2018

Footballer who tried to buy gun from undercover garda 'initially interested in buying AK47 but thought it was too large'

Deadly AK-47s (stock picture)
Deadly AK-47s (stock picture)

Fiona Ferguson

A footballer who tried to buy a gun from undercover gardai has been jailed for five years.

Ahmed Ayadi (25) told officers he was involved in the sale of drugs and wanted the firearm “just in case”.

Ayadi, of The Lawn, Boden Park, Rathfarnham, pleaded guilty at Dublin Circuit Criminal Court to possessing a 9mm calibre Glock semiautomatic pistol in suspicious circumstances at Navan Road, Cabra, on May 12 last year.

He also admitted having €6 worth of cannabis at Island Street, Dublin 8, on May 5 last year.

Det Gda Colm Tighe told Ronan Kennedy, prosecuting, that gardai became aware through confidential information that Ayadi was looking for a firearm.

Officers set up a surveillance operation with audio recording equipment to monitor meetings with him.

He met undercover gardai and told them he was involved in dealing drugs and wanted a weapon.

He was initially interested in buying an AK47 but thought it was too large after being shown a picture.

He chose a Glock and handed over €450 on May 12 last year. Ayadi’s vehicle was then intercepted and he was arrested and questioned.

The court heard Ayadi was from Tunisia but had grown up in Ireland. He was said to come from a respectable family and had lost his sister in tragic circumstances.

The court heard Ayadi has 21 previous convictions, mainly for traffic offences.

Judge Karen O’Connor noted references handed in to court on his behalf.

She said Ayadi was a talented footballer and was involved in charity work in his community.

She took into account his early guilty plea and remorse, but said it was a serious offence.

Judge O’Connor imposed six years’ imprisonment with 12 months suspended. The court also ordered 12 months of probation following his release.


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