German gets five years for helping move and hide body
A GERMAN national, who admitted helping to move and hide a man's body, has been jailed for five years at the Central Criminal Court.
Joachim Pohl pleaded guilty last November to assisting an offender, assisting in the removal and concealment of the body of Thomas Thompson, the removal and disposal of personal affects and the cleaning up of his dwelling at Borris Road, Portlaoise, Co Laois, on April 20-21, 2007 and various dates thereafter.
Mr Justice Paul Carney said the assistance was at the highest level possible.
He took into account his plea of guilty, co-operation with gardai and disclosure of the body which otherwise would not have been found.
Pohl, with an address at Linton Place, Kilkenny, was sentenced to seven-and-a-half years with the final two-and-a-half suspended.
Mr Thompson (59), originally from Yorkshire, was a self-employed plasterer who travelled home fortnightly and sent money back to his family.
Detective Garda Pat Scully told Mr Alex Owens, prosecut- ing, that Pohl had his own building company and his employee owed money to Mr Thompson.
Mr Thompson was telling other people that they should not hire this man and Pohl was having difficulty in getting work as a result, the court heard.
Shortly after April 20, 2007, Mr Thompson's landlord noticed possessions had gone missing from the property.
In December 2007, Pohl and the other man were arrested on suspicion of the false imprisonment of Mr Thompson. Their houses were searched and personal items of the deceased were found.
Both were charged with burglary and granted bail but in November 2008 the charge was dismissed because of a failure to provide a Book of Evidence.
Both men were given their passports back and three years later the Irish authorities got in contact with German authorities and Pohl returned voluntarily to Ireland.
He contacted gardai and told them he could indicate where the body was buried at Dysert Wood near Stradbally.
Pohl told gardai he went to Mr Thompson's house with the other man and the two men argued. Mr Thompson pushed the other man against the front door, the man hit him twice on the back of the head with a bale of briquettes.
The men used duct tape to hog-tie Mr Thompson, before putting him in a wheelie bin, and then into his van which was driven towards Durrow in Co Laois.
A victim impact statement was read to the court on behalf of Mr Thompson's wife Sandra. She told the court she couldn't stop the nightmares of what happened to her husband that night.