| 11.5°C Dublin

Jailed killer woos online lovers by posing as a model

Hodgins is serving a nine-year drugs sentence at Shelton Abbey Open Prison and is due to be released next year.

The Prison Service has now launched a detailed investigation into Hodgins' activities.

Sources have revealed that Hodgins, who shot dead a close pal of Lord Henry Mount-charles, the owner of Slane Castle, in 1989, has been using a false identity to attract female admirers.

"He has posted up a false profile photo and false information about himself on the plentyoffish.com website, which is used by people looking for love or new partners," a prison source told the Herald.



Banter

"It is suspected that Hodgins has duped a number of females who ended up communicating with him online.

"He engages in witty banter with them and makes them feel at ease. He asks multiple questions about their personal circumstances and tells a load of lies about his.

"His fake photo shows him to be some kind of male model and he pretends to be a charming gentleman -- but the truth is very different.

"Prison authorities are now trying to establish how he posted this stuff online," the source added.

Hodgins -- who is known as a well-behaved prisoner -- previously stayed in the same cell at Wheatfield Prison that is now occupied by wife killer Eamon Lillis.

It is understood that he has been based at Shelton Abbey in Co Wicklow for over a year and, as inmates don't have access to internet on computers, sources say that the only way he could go online is by using an illegal mobile phone.

A former drug addict, Hodgins became a household name back in 1989 when he shot dead Slane Castle gamekeeper Tim Kidman (27) in a crime that shocked the nation.

The killer, from Pearse Park, Drogheda, Co Louth, fired five shots at the gamekeeper -- the final one killing him. Others blasted him in the chest, jaw and arms.

Mr Kidman was gunned down after he confronted Hodgins and another man poaching in the Co Meath estate. In court at the time, Hodgins said: "I didn't realise what I'd done until after I did it."

Hodgins and the other man then hid the body until it was found by Lord Henry's secretary.

During the trial, the then State Pathologist John Harbison revealed how the gamekeeper was alive when he was shot with a bullet from a .22 rifle which ripped through the top of his head.

A jury found Hodgins, then 19, not guilty of murder but guilty of manslaughter. He was jailed for 12 years.

Hodgins' current sentence was imposed at Dundalk Circuit Court in June, 2006, after he was caught with over €13,000 worth of cocaine and amphetamines in his Drogheda home.

Over €170,000 in cash was also found in a code-locked briefcase hidden underneath a bath in the house.

Gardai raided the house in April, 2005, and discovered the bundles of cash were held together with elastic bands and masking tape.



hIDING

An air pistol, baseball bats, mixing agents and a cocaine mix were also found in the raid.

He then unsuccessfully tried to get his cash back at Dundalk Circuit Court in July, 2009, where he claimed he had saved the cash from doing nixers on building sites since his release from jail in 1998 for the manslaughter of Mr Kidman.

However, presiding Judge Michael White said the claim Hodgins was hiding it from the taxman and hid it in a briefcase was not credible.

The scale of evidence tipped towards it being the proceeds of crime and proceeds of drug dealing, the judge pointed out.

Hodgins is not due to be released from prison until late next year.

hnews@herald.ie


Privacy