Gangland boss Cornelius Price will never be brought to justice for his role in an organized kidnapping and extortion plot as he lies critically ill in a Welsh hospital.
Rice is accused of falsely detaining and blackmailing two men in the English Midlands in July 2020 and is due to stand trial with five alleged allies in November.
Today, however, sources said English detectives believe the prospect of the case against Price continuing is “almost impossible”.
The development comes as associates of one of Ireland’s most notorious criminals “broke the news” that Price was recovering and conscious and speaking to the people.
“The situation is this – he has very low cognitive abilities. His only reaction to anything is if he opens his eyes when a relative visits him in the hospital,” a source said.
“He is unable to move or speak and it seems that he will need more intensive neurological treatment very soon. The prospect that he can stand trial in six months is very slim indeed,” the source added.
Price was due to be tried alongside the other defendants at London’s Wood Green Crown Court last December, but the case was adjourned after the court heard Price was in a coma and doctors were unsure when he would come out of the coma would come out.
Price is said to be on trial with five alleged allies, Danny Bridges, 40, Mark Kavanagh, 33, Darren McClean, 36, Quincy Jarron Bramble, 33, and Lisa Marie Finnerty, 38.
The case was adjourned after the court heard Price had been diagnosed with a condition called limbic encephalitis.
“He’s been in the hospital for a while now,” said Jason Avis, who defended Price on the occasion.
“He is still being ventilated at the moment. Regarding his ongoing treatment and diagnosis, the consultant said it’s difficult to estimate when Price is likely to come out of his coma.
“It could take months or, in the worst case, years.
“I think he was diagnosed with a condition called limbic encephalitis.”
Price has been in a Welsh hospital since September and was treated in an intensive care unit.
His very serious illness has nothing to do with an act of violence against him.
In March last year, Price, who is part of the Maguire faction in the deadly Drogheda feud, was released on bail in the UK where he is awaiting trial for his involvement in a kidnapping plot.
He lived in the Midlands of England but moved to Wales over the summer.
Price is one of six people charged in England with conspiring to kidnap two men.
The gangster faces two counts of conspiring to falsely detain Muhammed and Shah Ali last July and two counts of conspiring to blackmail both men on the same day.
As one of Ireland’s most notorious criminals, Price is required to wear an electronic tag as part of his bail conditions.
Drogheda criminal Mark Kavanagh, 32 – originally from Yellowbatter in the town of Co Louth but with an address in Manchester – is also facing similar charges.
Price has lived in the UK since the gruesome murder of teenager Keane Mulready Woods in January last year, by mobsters who opposed him in the Drogheda feud.
His gang are suspected of kidnapping and murdering Willie Maughan, 34, and his pregnant Latvian girlfriend, Ana Varslavane, 21, on April 14, 2015 near Price’s estate in Gormanston, Co. Meath.
The couple planned to move out of the compound to return to their family home in Tallaght on the day they went missing and are believed to have been brutally murdered because they had vital information about the gang’s activities , including another murder.
No trace of their bodies has ever been found, but it is believed that they were cremated after they were murdered.
Price’s gang are also the prime suspects in the murder of the unsolved Benny Whitehouse murder, and Price was previously arrested for this crime.
Mr Whitehouse was shot dead in Clonard Street, Balbriggan, in front of his partner on 25 September 2014 as part of a separate feud.
https://www.independent.ie/irish-news/crime/gravely-ill-gang-boss-cornelius-price-may-never-face-justice-over-kidnap-plot-41616999.html Critically ill gang boss Cornelius Price may never be brought to justice over the kidnapping plot