Saturday 17 March 2018

Murderer set fire to stolen car with gun in glove box, court hears

Aaron Rogan

A convicted murderer set fire to a stolen car which had a 9mm pistol in the glove box, a court has heard.

Eugene Cullen (30) from Sundale Villas, Tallaght,  Dublin pleaded guilty at Dublin Circuit Criminal Court to possession of a firearm and arson at Palmerstown Green, Dublin on August 4 2008.

Cullen and another man, Adam Griffiths (27), were spotted coming out from a hedge in Palmerstown Green after driving the car from Cherry Orchard.

Gda Ronan Doolan testified that Cullen was seen leaning into the Honda Civic and soon after flames emerged from the car. Both men then got into a car driven by another man which was stopped by gardai soon after.

An inspection of the burned remains of the car found a 9mm pistol in the glove box of the passenger’s side and confirmed the car was one that had been reported as stolen. Neither man was charged with the car’s theft.

Griffiths of Sundrive Park, Drimnagh, Dublin pleaded guilty to driving a vehicle without the owners consent on August 4, 2008.

The court heard that Cullen is serving a life sentence for murder and the delay in this case coming before the court was due to the fact that he was not charged with possessing the firearm until recently.

Cullen’s barrister Anthony Sammon SC said that his client wanted the court to know Griffiths had no knowledge that the gun was in the car.

Keith Spencer BL, defending Griffith, said his client’s 21 previous convictions were mainly minor infringements of the road traffic act. He said Griffiths now worked in a warehouse and was training to be a glazier.

He said that Griffiths was very interested in cars at the time of the offence and acted stupidly by driving a car which was not his.

Griffiths was given a two year suspended sentence in full by Judge Martin Nolan. Cullen was given six years to be served from today.

Cullen briefly addressed Judge Nolan to ask that the sentence be backdated to his arrest last year when he was extradited from Holland on the murder charge. Judge Nolan said that he would only get credit on time he had already served on this charge alone. 

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