Thursday 19 September 2019

Gilligan's former solicitor avoids jail for giving phone to rapist in prison

Received threats: Joanne Kangley, who appeared at Portlaoise Circuit Court. Photo: Damien Eagers/INM
Received threats: Joanne Kangley, who appeared at Portlaoise Circuit Court. Photo: Damien Eagers/INM

Paul Neilan

A former solicitor for gang boss John Gilligan, who gave a mobile phone to an imprisoned notorious rapist after he threatened to rape her child, has avoided jail.

Joanne Kangley (41), formerly of Bailieborough, Co Cavan, appeared at Portlaoise Circuit Court where she pleaded guilty to the offence, committed on November 6, 2014. The offence carries a maximum imprisonment of five years.

Judge Keenan Johnson heard that Kangley, a mother of two young children, also provided a SIM card and topped up the phone for the prisoner, her former client.

Kangley was a practising solicitor since 2004 and had built up a "fairly high-profile clientele amongst the criminal fraternity", the court was told.

In 2013, Kangley issued a letter for her then-client Gilligan on his release from jail, telling news outlets he would not be giving interviews, "not even for a million euro".

The prisoner, who is denying receiving the phone and is awaiting a court hearing, was jailed for false imprisonment and raping a woman with implements while her infant child was found wandering in public at the time of the offences.

Ex-client: Joanne Kangley with gang boss John Gilligan in 2013. Photo: Collins
Ex-client: Joanne Kangley with gang boss John Gilligan in 2013. Photo: Collins

The court had previously heard Kangley gave the phone to the inmate at the Midlands Regional Hospital, where he was a patient, after he threatened "I will f***ing fillet you from here to here".

He also remarked that she had "a lovely daughter, I know all about her".

At her sentencing hearing yesterday, Judge Johnson noted that Kangley had been "extremely frightened and fearful" of the rapist, who said he had seen pictures of Kangley's daughter and was going to rape her if the solicitor did not get him a SIM card.

She later bought him a SIM card and topped up the phone, which was used to search for information about her and to intimidate others.

Judge Johnson said the aggravating factors were the "serious breach of trust on the part of the accused" and that the phone was used to "intimidate other parties".

He sentenced her to 12 months and suspended it for five years.

Irish Independent

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