A ten-year jail term was imposed on a man convicted of having a loaded pistol in a car in a Cork housing estate in the early hours of the morning.
Jonathan O’Sullivan’s lawyer, Siobhán Lankford, said at the sentencing hearing, “There is no evidence he was the person who was going to use (the gun).”
But Judge Seán Ó Donnabháin said, “The next step could not have happened without him.”
40-year-old Jonathan O’Sullivan of 55 Barrett’s Buildings, Gurranabraher, Cork, denied the crime but a jury unanimously found him guilty.
“I regard this as extremely sinister and serious. His own defence was that it was planted there by the guards which was complete nonsense. He had the key to the car. His culpability was total.
“The car was on Boyce’s Street the night before. He lives at Barrett’s Buildings. He is and from the area. He is not a stupid man.
"He was a material part in putting all the parts together for the commission of something else.
“This smacks of organised criminality and he knew well what he was doing. Organised criminality cannot survive and prosper without people like Mr O’Sullivan willing to give of themselves in vital steps. He was not the originator but he took a valuable part.
“He did not show then (in the trial) or now a scintilla of remorse,” Judge Ó Donnabháin said.
The trial last year at Cork Circuit Criminal Court heard that gardaí got a call about a dark Audi A4 acting suspiciously with the revving of the engine in Ardcullen estate at around 1.20am.
Garda Keith Shire got out and approached the parked car with nobody inside and observed on the footwell at the driver’s side, between the seat and the pedals, a handgun.
“I requested armed support to attend the scene, examine the gun and make sure it was safe. I checked the bonnet, it was warm, it had been running quite recently,” Garda Shire said.
He checked the registration number through garda colleagues and was told the reg belonged to a Toyota Yaris. It was later found that the chassis number had been scratched off the engine of the Audi, Garda Shire said.
Garda Annmarie Fitzgerald spoke to the accused at the scene. At first he said he was visiting a friend’s house at The Meadows but did not give this man’s name. Then he said he was calling to a woman, whose name he did give, but could not say what her address was.
At the sentencing hearing Judge Ó Donnabháin said, “There was a heightened temperature on the north side at that time.”