'˜Crime gang' boss and wife appear in court

A husband and wife have appeared in court accused of money laundering offences involving assets in excess of a £1 million.

Friday, 23rd June 2017, 10:27 am
Updated Tuesday, 18th July 2017, 8:25 am

The assets allegedly include cash, jewellery and property.

Patrick Pearse O’Connor, (47), of Stoneypath, faces a total of 17 charges allegedly committed between a date unknown and June 20, 2017.

They include possessing criminal property, entering into an agreement to acquire criminal property, concealing criminal property and transferring criminal property.

He is further charged with conspiracy to supply Cocaine and £120,000 worth of Cannabis. It is alleged the criminal property is over £1,00,000 in sterling, almost E300,000, a property in Strathfoyle and watches and jewellery worth almost £500,000.

An investigating officer told Derry Magistrate’s Court yesterday that police believe O’Connor is the ‘principal member’ of an organised crime gang.

The 47-years-old did not make an application for bail and he was remanded in custody.

His wife, Misha O’Connor, faces a total of nine charges which include possessing and converting criminal property and entering into an agreement to acquire criminal property.

An investigating officer said police would have concerns that if released on bail the 35-years-old could interfere with the recovery of high value items of jewellery.

She said some of these items have been recovered but a ‘large amount remain outstanding.’

The officer added that this defendant declined to make any comment to the allegations during police interview.

O’Connor was released on her own bail of £1,000 to reside at an approved address. She is banned for contacting any of her co-accused, including her husband, must surrender her passport and must sign bail three times a week.

A third defendant, 41-years-old Mark Anthony Kelly faces a total of 10 charges.

They include using, possessing and transferring criminal property and conspiracy to supply Cannabis.

District Judge Barney McElholm granted an interim order which bans the publication of Kelly’s address.

Applying for anonymity, defence solicitor Michael McGee, said an associate of his client had been ‘approached’ by a ‘known’ person and this caused ‘some concern and some fear’ for Kelly’s family.

Granting an order for the defendant’s address not to be published, the judge said ‘given they broke the legs of a 15-year-old boy with iron bars, one wonders what they would stop at.’

Kelly made no application for bail and was remanded in custody. All three defendants will appear in court again on July 20.