Tuesday 16 October 2018

Young mother with baby (3) in buggy and loaded gun gets suspended jail term

Nikita Murtagh walks free from court yesterday after pleading guilty to unlawful possession of a pistol
Nikita Murtagh walks free from court yesterday after pleading guilty to unlawful possession of a pistol

Ken Foy

The young mother who walked free from court in relation to a feud-related gun charge is closely linked to two senior members of the Hutch gang whose lives are under threat from the Kinahan cartel.

The Irish Independent can reveal that Nikita Murtagh (21) is the long-term partner of jailed Hutch mob criminal Nathan Coakley-Hutch and is also closely associated with another gang member who is currently in custody awaiting trial for an alleged armed robbery.

Both of these men have been blamed by the Kinahan cartel for involvement in the Regency Hotel bloodbath, which fuelled the feud that has now claimed 15 lives.

However, neither has been arrested by gardaí investigating the murder of David Byrne in February, 2016.

Murtagh has spent the past seven months in the Dochas Centre, where she was being held in "special confinement" for 22 hours a day for her own safety due to her links to the feud.

Yesterday, the Special Criminal Court heard that Murtagh had been acting out of a "misplaced sense of family loyalty" when she handed a shoebox containing a loaded gun to a man about to board the Dublin to Belfast train.

Nikita Murtagh has received security advice from gardaí but there are no plans to issue her with a formal warning of a threat against her life
Nikita Murtagh has received security advice from gardaí but there are no plans to issue her with a formal warning of a threat against her life

She was sentenced to three years in jail, with the sentence backdated to July 19 last year, when she first entered custody, with the balance suspended.

Murtagh, with an address at Mariner's Port, Sheriff Street, Dublin 1, had pleaded guilty to the unlawful possession of a CZ model 70 semi-automatic pistol at Connolly Station in Dublin.

During her sentence hearing, Detective Inspector Noel Browne said that during a surveillance operation, gardaí observed Murtagh enter the train station shortly before 3.15pm.

She was pushing a buggy with a three-year-old child inside when she met her co-accused, Ciaran Ryan, and handed him a paper bag, before leaving the station.

Last month, Ryan (24), from Summerhill, Dublin 1, was jailed for three years for possession of the firearm.

Murtagh had no previous criminal convictions, but is closely associated with some of the most dangerous members of the Hutch mob.

Irish Independent

Editor's Choice

Also in Irish News