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Spanish prosecutors seek eight-year sentence for John Gilligan


di Stefano agreed to advise jailed criminal John Gilligan in 2005

di Stefano agreed to advise jailed criminal John Gilligan in 2005

di Stefano agreed to advise jailed criminal John Gilligan in 2005

Gangster John Gilligan faces more than eight years in a Spanish jail if convicted on drugs and gun charges.

Spanish prosecutors have outlined for the first time how he allegedly hid drug deliveries inside consignments of toys and flip-flops.

And new details about the weapon found hidden in the garden of Gilligan’s home in Torrevieja on the Costa Blanca can also be revealed today.

Spanish state prosecutors are seeking an 18-month prison sentence for the 69-year-old if he is convicted of a crime of unlawful weapons possession. The trial is expected to get under way next year.

Instead of the rare Colt Python .357 magnum which Spanish police said they had discovered after arresting Gilligan in October last year — the same type of firearm used to murder Sunday Independent journalist Veronica Guerin in 1996 the gun is now being described as a Colt Defender air pistol.

A six-page indictment submitted to a judge who ruled there is enough evidence to try the Dubliner and eight alleged accomplices, including his British partner Sharon and son Darren, says: “The pistol, with its case and ammunition was buried in the garden and at John Gilligan’s disposal. It has been catalogued as a short firearm equipped for use.

“The cartridges were in good condition, hadn’t been modified, and were apt for use with the pistol that was seized.”

Gilligan and his accomplices are accused of sending cannabis and sleeping pills from Spain to Ireland.

One courier delivery seized “contained seven boxes of children’s toys, two flip-flops, and inside a towel, two packets containing marihuana buds weighing 685g and 700g respectively”. 

The same combination of towels, toys and flip-flops was used to smuggle prescription medicines, including Limovane and Zoplicone pills.

It emerged on Thursday that Gilligan had been formally charged, following his arrest just over a year ago.

Prosecutors yesterday confirmed they were seeking a prison sentence of eight years and four months.

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They told a judge they want him jailed for two years if convicted of smuggling cannabis into Ireland, four years for illegally exporting the sleeping pills, one-and-a-half-years for the gun crime, and 10 months for membership of a criminal gang.

The indictment shows Gilligan is the only one of the nine accused who is facing trial over the weapon found buried in his back garden

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