'I'm going to shoot your ma' - 10 shots fired at home of innocent mother over son's 'drug debts'
A convicted Dublin heroin dealer is believed to be behind two gun attacks on the home of an innocent family in Tyrone, after warning a former pal: “I’m going to shoot your Ma.”
Sharon Gervin is just 5ft 2in, but today she stands tall for all the parents in Ireland suffering intimidation over drug debts, saying she hopes she gives them the courage to fight back too.
Gardaí and the PSNI are liaising in their investigations into the shootings at her home.
They are examining a series of chilling texts and messages - revealed last weekend by the Sunday World - which detail the nature of the intimidation the Gervin family are being subjected to by the criminal.
Terrifying recordings of the dealer threatening her son Stephen (26), and messages he sent before both gun attacks are being examined by the PSNI, who are hoping to put together a file for a European Arrest Warrant.
The drug dealer, who is 30 and was kneecapped in his early 20s, has spent time in prison for selling heroin and cannabis.
He once worked alongside Dublin gangster ‘Mr Flashy’ and his 'Gucci Gang' under the umbrella of the Kinahan Cartel, but is understood he has fallen out with many former associates and is well known to gardaí policing gang feuds in Coolock.
It is understood he sent two gunmen from Dublin across the border to shoot up the house.
However, brave mum of four Sharon says: “I have worked hard for everything I have in this house and I will not be run out of it by some scumbag. I have nothing to do whatsoever with what my son has got mixed up in. Me and my husband and our children have nothing to do with drugs or these people. I will not be intimidated.
“I feel able to speak out because of the support we have got from our community. Everyone is looking out for us and offering to help. It has been amazing to see the whole community get behind us.”
The Gervins are one of hundreds of families across the country under threat from out of control drug gangs intent on collecting blood money by targeting the loved ones of victims.
Sharon hopes that by speaking out she will encourage others to fight back against the dealers too.
“If he is such a big man he can come here and face me. I am not afraid because I know he will have to face a community and not just one family. He sent guys with guns to shoot through my windows. Ten bullets – in my book that is 10 attempts to murder me and members of my family.”
The suspect, who boasts that he is ‘Cartel’ is understood to have befriended Stephen while he was working in Lanzarote last summer. Now he is demanding €250,000 from him, claiming he was to blame for a botched deal. Stephen insists he owes no money.
Officers believe that Stephen began receiving threats last October after he returned home to the North. Although he wasn’t living with his family he did stay over the Christmas season.
The threats escalated in the months after that and the dealer started referring to the family home and to Mrs Gervin in particular.
On the night before the first gun attack he told her son: “Tell your Ma I’m going to leave her house like a teabag.”
In a text message he warned: “You wanna tell your connections to stay alert and watch the gaf mate cos we are coming… With tools and if you're not there someone will get it….is your life, your Mam’s life, your sisters life worth all this… I doubt it but you're bringing it all down on top of them.”
On March 10 the family were celebrating daughter Amy’s 21st birthday when two men pulled up outside the house at 12.15am and pumped five bullets through the front window and door of the house outside Coalisland.
“Thank God we had a marquee that night for the party and everyone was in the garden. I had just walked into the kitchen when there was this big noise and I saw flashes. I screamed for everyone to get down,” said Sharon.
“I just couldn’t believe it. Stephen hasn’t lived here for years. He has his own life. We tried, as we do with all our children, to keep them on the straight and narrow. I don’t condone anyone getting involved in drugs, but we have nothing to do with it, we are ordinary people.
“Anyone could find themselves in our situation. This could be anyone’s nightmare.”
The PSNI were called and later issued five members of the family, including two young teenagers, with threat forms to warn them that their lives were in danger.
But the intimidation didn’t stop there. On July 1 Sharon and her husband had gone to bed when they were awoken with the sound of an explosion over their heads and the flash of bullets. One hit the wardrobe beside where they had been sleeping.
A chilling text sent earlier that evening read: “You wont last long ive nothing else to do but look for you ive a crew of lads your done mate stick the money up your hole and if not you ill keep annoying your ma this aint ever going away so be safe.”
The following day the dealer was recorded in a heated exchange when he said: “You owe me dough, this is never ever going away for you. I heard that someone let a roar last night, yeah. I’m telling you now, you or someone in your family is going to be gone.”
The extraordinary recordings show just how confident the drug dealer is. In another text he simply types: “Tick tock. Tick tock.”
It is understood that the dealer has been using the name of the Kinahan Cartel in order to heighten fears. He even texted: “You ask your connections who the **** we are.” And he writes: “I’ve 200 sweets with your family’s names on them.”
Sharon says that despite the threats she is living as normal as possible, although the family are getting help with their security from the PSNI and support across the political divide.
“I think it is disgusting that someone would try to use an innocent family like this. I’m sure there are parents all over the country in the same position as us. It could be anyone’s turn next.
“We all try to keep our kids away from these gangs, but they are everywhere. They are destroying lives and communities.”