The brother of murdered prisoner Gary Douch has been jailed for seven years at Dublin Circuit Criminal Court for possession of explosives.
Glen Douch (aged 22) of Oakwood Green, Termonabbey, Drogheda, Co Louth told gardaí that third parties had threatened to shoot his family if he did not transport the pipe-bomb, which was seized in the front passenger seat of a blue Mazda vehicle in a north Dublin housing estate.
Garda detectives arrested him near the scene after he abandoned the vehicle and dumped the balaclava and gloves he’d been wearing in a bin.
The young father-of-one pleaded guilty to possessing the improvised explosive device, which was attached to a timer and contained potassium nitrate and sulphur, at Marigold Court, Darndale in Coolock on October 7, 2008.
He also pleaded guilty to dangerous driving and endangerment in Smithfield on Decemeber 5, 2009. He has 27 previous convictions for mostly minor offences.
Detective garda Paul Kennedy told Mr Remy Farrell BL, prosecuting, that he and colleagues received confidential information about the blue Mazda and followed it to the housing estate.
Gardaí arrested Douch near the scene and called in the Army Bomb Disposal Unit to make the explosives safe.
Det Garda Kennedy said Douch immediately admitted possessing the explosives.
The detective garda agreed with Mr Anthony Sammon SC, defending, that his client mentioned a €5,000 drug debt and said his family had received threats, which he took seriously.
Det Gda Kennedy agreed that Douch was co-operative, had entered an early guilty plea and had said he knew the bomb wasn’t wired to go off.
The detective garda accepted Douch had no role in making the device.
The court heard that while he was on bail for the explosives offence Douch was visiting his solictor in Smithfield when he was threatened by other men, one of whom he claimed had a gun.
He sped off in his car, driving the wrong way up a street and nearly hitting a garda on a bicycle. He also nearly struck several pedestrians.
Judge Tony Hunt said he would not add to Douch’s worries by imposing additional prison time for the incident. He imposed a sentence of two years but suspended it for four years.
Mr Sammon submitted to Judge Hunt that his client had a tragic family history with one brother being murdered and another dying from a drugs overdose.
Judge Hunt noted that Douch was not “beyond rehabilitation” and agreed he had a tragic and difficult family background. He also accepted he was only transporting the bomb and had not manufactured it.