A Monasterevin prison officer, who is pleading not guilty to drugs possession and supply charges, has claimed in court that he was under threat from associates of the McCarthy-Dundon criminal gang to play a role in getting the drugs into the Midlands prison.
His trial, before Judge Leonie Reynolds at Naas Circuit Court, ended today, Friday, December 7.
Trevor Gleeson (33), whose address is listed as Mountrice, Monasterevin, was arrested on December 22, 2009, following a pursuit by Gardai at Grey Abbey Road, Kildare town.
Mr. Gleeson has not contested the fact that he was caught with drugs in his possession, but has offered a defence of duress.
Mr. Gleeson works in the Midlands prison, Portlaoise, and over the course of a number of months in the prison, banter between him and some inmates became more sinister, the court was told. Evidence was given that it was made known to him that the inmates knew where he lived, that he had been followed when driving home. He was also given details by inmates about his wife’s pregnancy and where she worked.
The trial heard evidence that he had been contacted, outside the prison, by two men who were described in court as being “interlinked” with the McCarthy-Dundon gang, and that he felt threatened by them.
At another point he was approached by a man in an underground car park in the Killeshin Hotel, Portlaoise, with a gun. “He knew these people meant business,” senior counsel for the defendant, Damien Colgan, told the jury in his closing argument today.
The case has been adjourned to next Tuesday morning, December 11, when Judge Reynolds will sum up the case before the jury retires to consider their verdict.