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Gang boss Price to spend the year in jail with trial due to start on his 40th birthday


Cornelius Price

Cornelius Price

Cornelius Price

Gang boss Cornelius Price faces being locked up in an English jail for the rest of the year after a court ruled that his kidnapping trial will not start until December 6 next, the date of his 40th birthday.

An administrative officer said the case at Wood Green Court is fixed for that date and is expected to last between eight to nine weeks.

Notorious criminal Price (39) is who is linked to the Maguire gang involved in the deadly Drogheda feud, is one of six people who have been charged in England over a plot to kidnap two men.

He has now been locked up in medium security HM Prison Dovegate in Uttoxeter on the kidnapping charges for almost seven months and is unlikely to get bail until his trial is completed.

Mark Kavanagh (32), who is also a leading player in the Maguire faction, is also facing charges in relation to the kidnap plot but he was granted bail on January 29 last.

Price and Kavanagh were among six people arrested last July following a major investigation by the West Midlands Organised Crime Unit.

Senior sources say that Kavanagh has not returned to Drogheda since being given bail almost a fortnight ago and is understood to be still based in the UK.

Price’s gang are the chief suspects the savage murders of Willie Maughan, and his pregnant girlfriend Ana Varslavane at Price’s property in Gormanston, Co Meath, on April 14, 2015.

His gang are also the chief suspects for the murder of Benny Whitehouse and Price was previously arrested for this crime.

Mr Whitehouse was shot dead at Clonard Street, Balbriggan, on September 25, 2014, in front of his partner as part of a separate feud in the north Co Dublin town.

In the UK, Price is charged with two counts of conspiring to falsely imprison Muhammed and Shah Ali last July, as well as two counts of conspiring to blackmail both men on the same dates.

Drogheda man Mark Kavanagh, whose address is listed as Manchester, is also charged with two counts of conspiracy to falsely imprison and two counts of conspiracy to blackmail.

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Originally from Yellowbatter in the Co Louth town, Kavanagh, like many of those with links to the feuding Drogheda gangs, fled Ireland a year ago and the situation in the town has calmed considerably since then.

While based in England, he hooked up with other members of the Maguire gang, including Price.

Two other men, Darren McClean and Quincy Bramble, are charged with the kidnap of Muhammed Ali on July 8. This duo also remain in custody on the charges.

The two accused, as well as Price, Kavanagh, Danny Bridges and Lisa Finnerty, are also charged with conspiring to unlawfully and injuriously imprison Muhammed and Shah Ali, and detain them against their will, between July 7 and 17.

All six also face charges of blackmail with a view to making unwarranted demands of monies from the same complainants on the same date.

The case will next be heard at Wood Green Crown Court before Judge David Aaronberg on May 19 next for a further case management hearing in which the defendants may be arraigned on the charges.

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