Limerick man extradited from Bulgaria remanded after pleading guilty to intimidation

Limerick man extradited from Bulgaria remanded after pleading guilty to intimidation
Picture: Press22

By David Raleigh

A Limerick man who was previously extradited to Ireland from Bulgaria to face trial for intimidating, and threatening to kill another man, has pleaded guilty to intimidating the man.

Today, Senior Counsel for the State, John O'Sullivan told Limerick Circuit Court, that the Director of Public Prosecutions had accepted Vincent Collopy's plea to intimidating Willie Moran, in June 2010.

Mr O'Sullivan said a nolle prosequi would be entered on a charge of Mr Collopy threatening to kill Mr Moran, meaning he will not face trial on that charge.

Today in court, Mr Collopy, from St Senan's Street, St Mary's Park, Limerick, admitted "intimidating or putting William Moran in fear with the intention of obstructing, perverting and interfering with the course of justice".

Mr Moran, a horse trader from Limerick, was to be a witness for the State against Mr Collopy.

Mr Collopy, who was dressed in a shirt and tie and a black Crombie, was "renditioned" from Bulgaria to Ireland in May 2014 to face the charge of threatening to kill Mr Moran on June 9, 2010.

Mr Collopy is currently on bail and subject to an international travel ban.

He was arrested by police in Bulgaria in May 2014 on foot of a European Arrest Warrant, which was issued by the High Court in 2011.

He was selling swimming gear to holidaymakers from a beach shop front in Bulgaria at the time of his arrest and subsequent extradition.

In 2015, Mr Collopy lost an application to vary the terms of his bail after he sought to take his "dying father" on a last holiday to Morocco, where European arrest warrants are not recognised.

Mr Collopy said he had been residing in Stillwater Drive, Manchester, before moving to Bulgaria where he rented a beach shop.

He added: "I was living over there (Bulgaria) with my wife and children. She was working as a building company manager. I was renting a beachfront shop, that sold swimming gear."

Today, a probation report was ordered on Mr Collopy and he was remanded in continuing custody for sentencing on March 15.

Passing sentence, Judge Carroll Moran said Mr Moran said it was hard to imagine a more serious offence than attempting to attack the fabric of the administration of justice, and it could not be tolerated.

“It was an attempt to undermine the courts and criminal justice trials in Limerick,” judge Moran said.

Judge Moran said an attempt was made to get Willie Moran to a solicitor’s office to withdraw his statement.

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