No jail time for solicitor who gave phone to prisoner

Story by Paul Neilan

Wednesday, 10th April, 2019 1:21pm

No jail time for solicitor who gave phone to prisoner

Joanne Kangley.

A former solicitor for mob boss John Gilligan, who gave a mobile phone to an incarcerated notorious rapist, after he threatened to rape her child, has avoided jail.
Joanne Kangley (41), formerly of Bailieborough, Co Cavan, appeared at Portlaoise Circuit Court pleading guilty to the offence, committed on November 6, 2014. The offence carries a maximum term of imprisonment of five years.
Judge Keenan Johnson heard that Ms Kangley, a mother of two young children, also provided a SIM card and topped up the phone for the prisoner, her former client.
Ms Kangley qualified in 2001 and was a practising solicitor since 2004. She had built up a “fairly high-profile clientele amongst the criminal fraternity”, the court heard.
In 2013, she issued a letter for her then-client mob boss John Gilligan upon his release from jail, warning news outlets that he would not be giving interviews, “not even for a million euro”.
The prisoner, who is denying receiving the phone and is awaiting a court hearing, was jailed for false imprisonment and raping a woman with implements, while her infant child was found wandering in public at the time of the offences.
The court had previously heard that she gave the phone to the inmate at Midlands Regional Hospital, where he was a patient, after he threatened “I will f**king fillet you from here to here”. He also remarked that she had “a lovely daughter, I know all about her”.
The two were alone in a hospital ward room while prison guards were outside.
He took the phone from her bag but she could not reason with him to return it. She eventually removed the SIM card and threw the phone on the bed. She was also warned not to speak about the phone, as she knew what would happen to “rats”. He also threatened to “ruin” her by telling gardaí about the phone.
At her Tuesday sentencing, Judge Johnson noted that she was “extremely frightened and fearful” of the rapist, who said he had seen pictures of Ms Kangley's daughter and that he was going to rape her if she did not get him a SIM card.
She later bought him a SIM card and topped up the phone, which was used to search for information about her and to intimidate others.
In February 2015, he told a prison officer that he had a phone up his rectum that she had given him and information on the phone linked it to her.
He said he would only hand over the phone if he was arrested but gardaí refused.
The next day he reported that he had swallowed razor blades and that he required admission to hospital.
He was placed in a search-cell and, during a search, a prison officer noticed the phone sticking out from between his buttocks.
The phone was recovered and examinations revealed that he had used it to contact Ms Kangley and for internet searches of his former solicitor and his rape victim.
Judge Johnson said the aggravating factors were the “serious breach of trust on the part of the accused” and that the phone was used to “intimidate other parties”.
However, he noted that Ms Kangley had given the phone when she was under “unbearable stress, duress and fear” because of her then-client, that she had lost her business, her livelihood, was diagnosed as having Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), had a previously “unblemished record” and was fearing for her daughter's safety.
Judge Keenan said Ms Kangley was a devoted mother to her children and described her former client as manipulative, devious and sadistic.
“She was clearly in an extremely invidious position with choices to make that were all going to be highly unpalatable. To a certain extent she became a victim of his criminal behaviour,” he said, adding that she now lived in Spain because “of the threat she still feels is posed by him and his associates”.
Judge Johnson said the maximum sentence was five years under Section 36 of the Prison Act and that, without mitigating factors, he would have sentenced her to three-and-a-half years.
He suspended a 12-month sentence for five years on the condition that Ms Kangley enter into a bond of €500 to keep the peace.
Ms Kangley appeared in court flanked by her parents and did not speak during the sentencing, save to acknowledge the bond.

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