‘Inappropriate’ holiday driver used his mother’s car to help killers escape after gang attacked father of two


A ‘reproachable’ holiday driver who used his mother’s car to help gang killers escape the scene of an attack in west Dublin has been jailed for eight years.

Sentencing judge Justice Paul McDermott noted Monday that his mother’s decision to use his own car accused Matthew Bell of being “inappropriate for the assigned role” in the gang.

John Gibson was a 28-year-old father when he died in a hail of bullets after being targeted by gunmen from a rival gang in the parking lot at Citywest Shopping Center in Dublin.

At Central Criminal Court this afternoon, Bell (25), of Ambervale, in Cookstown, Dublin, 24, was jailed for his role in the murder after he pleaded guilty to participating in or Gibson’s murder on September 18, 2017, in order to facilitate the activities of a criminal organization.

Sentencing Bell to nine years and three months in prison, with the final 15 months suspended, Mr Justice McDermott said Bell operated a vehicle that allowed the gunmen to flee the scene of the murder and was a “need cog” essential” in the gang activity that led to Mr. Gibson’s fatal shooting.

Speaking outside court, Mr Gibson’s mother Tara Gibson said that while she was “delighted” with the sentencing, she said she had hoped Bell would spend longer in jail.

“I just hope they hold others accountable,” she said. “They’re still out there.”

Ms Gibson had previously told the court that “a part of me was dead” when Ms. gardaí informed her that her son had been shot.

Describing the murder as “a cold-blooded murder committed in a public place”, Mr Justice McDermott said any convictions would have to reflect “the damage caused as well as the nature of the crime.” offense”.

He said Mr Gibson’s death had caused “deep sadness” to his family and had left his two children, who were four and five at the time of the murder, fatherless.

“The horror of his death and its consequences remains with them,” the judge said.

While the offense was at the “end of the scale” and the title terms of 12 years and six months were well deserved, the judge said there were a number of mitigating factors that led to Bell’s reduced sentence.

These included Bell’s early confession and his battle against drug addiction, which the judge said could have an “alternative path” for the defendant in the future.

Mr Justice McDermott also described Bell’s decision to use his mother’s car to transport the killers from the crime scene as “reprehensible” and accused the defendant of “unfit for the role assigned” in the tape. the group.

At the previous hearing, Ms Gibson held back tears as she described the “nightmare” she and her family have endured since being told her son had died.

She said there are “no words that can be put on paper” to describe the devastation her family is feeling, adding that her only consolation is knowing that “a giant son gentle, a man who is kind and loving to her, is in heaven right now looking down on his two young children.”

“He was the victim of the violence, not the perpetrator,” she said.

The last time Ms Gibson said she saw her son alive, he hugged her and told her he loved her after they enjoyed a family meal at her home.

Two hours later, she was informed at the garden station that her son had died.

The next time she saw him, she said, “he was laid in a coffin with his head smashed together and a bullet wound to his chest, which no mother has to see.”

“I can’t stop thinking about the final minutes of his life and the fear he must have felt when he got out of his car and ran for his life,” she said in a victim impact statement. , which she read in court.

“No parent has to go through what I went through,” she continued. “Part of me died that day.”

At the same hearing, Detective Sergeant Seamus Palmer told Dominic McGinn SC, prosecutor, that a Volkswagen Caddy was observed on CCTV arriving and leaving the crime scene at the time Mr. Gibson was murdered. harmful.

The occupants of the Caddy, which Det Sgt Palmer described as a “trip car”, were seen shortly afterwards entering the black Opel Corsa at a spot close to where the Caddy burned down.

Det Sgt Palmer said Corsa later tracked Bell’s mother, who told her she and her husband were out of the country at the time of the shooting.

Ms. Bell also told officers that her son had access to the vehicle while his parents were away.

When he was arrested 13 months later, Bell told detectives he was out “driving, smoking, and listening to music” the night Gibson was targeted by a rival gang.

However, he was later charged with participating in or contributing to the murder of Mr Gibson, contrary to Section 72 of the Criminal Justice Act 2006.

Corporal Palmer told Giollaíosa Ó Lideadha SC, the defense, that although Bell was neither a “hard criminal” nor the “driving force behind the murder”, he was still a “critical cog” in the fatal shooting.

Mr. Ó Lideadha told the court he was asked on behalf of his client to convey “regret and a commitment to be a better person”.

Bell, the attorney said, blamed his participation in Mr Gibson’s killing on his own stupidity and drug use, and his client admitted that there was no word. can say “on behalf of him that can make up for what he has done”. ‘Inappropriate’ holiday driver used his mother’s car to help killers escape after gang attacked father of two

Fry Electronics Team

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