Friday, May 19, 2023

Alison O'Riordan

A convicted murderer who tried to kill another man during a shooting in Dublin in 2019 has been jailed by the Special Criminal Court for 15 years.

Sentencing Bernard Fogarty at the non-jury court on Friday, presiding judge Mr Justice Tony Hunt said the organised hit on Mark Ivers warranted a headline sentence of 20 years, but Fogarty’s “wise course of action” in pleading guilty would see a deduction of five years.

Last March at Fogarty’s sentence hearing, the court heard the defendant was the balaclava-clad gunman who tried to murder Mr Ivers during the shooting in Donaghmede.

Fogarty (35), with an address at Cromcastle Court, Kilmore, Coolock, Dublin 5, had pleaded guilty to the attempted murder of Mr Ivers at Streamville Road, Donaghmede, Dublin 13, on September 6th, 2019.

Fogarty has 54 previous convictions, including a conviction for murder for which he is serving a life sentence.

In December last year, judges at the Special Criminal Court convicted both Fogarty and Robert Redmond of the murder of father-of-five Barry Wolverson, who died after spending more than a year in a coma. They both received mandatory life sentences for the murder.

The men were also found guilty of assault causing harm to Gerard Wildman, who was shot during the same attack at around midday on January 17th, 2020.

Organised attempted murder

Before delivering the sentence on Friday, Mr Justice Hunt noted Fogarty had pleaded guilty to the attempted murder of Mr Ivers in Donaghmede last February.

What had emerged from the event, the judge said, was an organised attempted murder with which the court was all too familiar, adding the evidence in the case bore all the normal hallmarks of that type of crime.

Passing sentence, Mr Justice Hunt said the court must compose a proportionate sentence which marries the culpability and gravity of the offence.

Having regard to the gravity of the offence, the judge said the maximum sentence was life in prison. He said the headline sentence must reflect the culpability of the defendant and set it at 20 years imprisonment.

The judge said barrister Seamus Clarke SC, defending Fogarty, had identified a few things which could be said in favour of his client, adding the court was bound to take those matters into account.

Mr Clarke previously pointed out that Fogarty had a history of drug and alcohol misuse. He said his client had entered a guilty plea to the attempted murder of Mr Ivers, and asked the court to be as lenient as it could.

In mitigation, the judge noted the significant mitigating factor in a case as complicated as this was the defendant’s guilty plea and that a plea in such circumstances had very considerable value. He said: “Mr Fogarty is undoubtedly entitled to normal credit for the wise course of action he took.”

Mr Justice Hunt also referred to Fogarty’s previous convictions and current circumstances, pointing out that this sentence may not affect the defendant’s duration in custody.

However, the judge said “a different body” might come to consider an application he may make in a different case. “Bearing all that in mind, we will apply a discount for his wise course of action,” he added.

Mr Justice Hunt, sitting with Judge Sarah Berkeley and Judge Alan Mitchell, sentenced Fogarty to 15 years imprisonment.

Sean Gillane SC, prosecuting, informed the court that the accused went into custody on this matter on July 12th, 2021. However, Mr Justice Hunt said there was no good reason why there should be any backdate in the case.

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