Man jailed for possession of firearm

A man has been jailed for three years by Judge Tony Hunt after gardaí found a semi-automatic pistol in the attic of his family home.

Karl Kavanagh (aged 25) of Cooley Road, Driminagh, pleaded guilty at Dublin Circuit Criminal Court

to possession of the firearm on February 13, 2007. He had six previous District Court convictions for road traffic and public order offences.

Judge Hunt said there was no need for him to point out "the obvious death and destruction that follows from the possession of such weapons" but accepted evidence that Kavanagh did not have a serious criminal record and was a "small cog in a big wheel".

He said that in "the particular circumstances", considering his early plea of guilty and immediate admissions to gardai he thought it "unjust" to impose the presumptive minimum mandatory five years sentence.

"But this is not a marker for other firearm cases. This sentence is based on these specific circumstances," Judge Hunt added.

Detective Garda Gerard Fahy told Mr Pieter Le Vert BL, prosecuting, that Kavanagh immediately took responsibility for the pistol but told gardai he didn't know if it was loaded. He said he had taken it into the house two days previously and his mother had no idea it was there.

Kavanagh later told gardaí in interview that he was holding the gun for someone but he couldn't say who owned it for fear of his and his family's lives.

Det Gda Fahy agreed with Mr Remy Farrell BL, defending, that the admissions Kavanagh made at the scene where helpful to the garda investigation as there were other people in the house at the time.

He accepted that Kavanagh would not be considered a "hard man" by gardaí and although he could never say if the accused had fired a weapon, he would be surprised if he had.

Det Gda Fahy further agreed with Kavanagh had not come to garda attention since his arrest.

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