Gangster ‘Fat’ Freddie Thompson who is serving life after leading the Kinahan cartel’s gang war against the Hutch rivals is back in court in Ireland for allegedly attacking prison staff
A notorious gangster who is serving life for a Kinahan cartel murder is due back in court In Ireland for allegedly attacking staff at a top security prison.
“Fat” Freddie Thompson was brought into the inner circle of the billion-euro gang by boss Daniel Kinahan, 46, to lead the gang’s war against the Hutch rivals in a feud that left 18 men dead.
And now the Irish Mirror has confirmed that jailed Thompson is again in trouble with the law and set to appear in court charged with attacking staff at Portlaoise Prison in Co Laois, as well as making threats to kill. It has also learned that Thompson, 43, was such an unruly inmate in the state’s only supermax prison that he has now amassed dozens of disciplinary charges – and has been moved to another jail.
Sources say he was recently transferred under heavy security from Portlaoise to Cork Prison because of his antics in jail. “He is a bit of a handful all right,” an insider said. The Irish Prison Service has declined to give details with a spokesman saying: “The Irish Prison Service does not comment on individual prisoner cases.”
But it is alleged he has been investigated both by prison staff and gardaí. He has now collected more than 70 so-called P19s, or internal charges, since he was caged in August 2018 for the murder two years earlier of Daithí Douglas – all for rowdy behaviour behind bars. Punishments for P19s can include loss of privileges and visit rights – as well as being moved to another prison.
That happened to the Dubliner last month when he was moved to Cork – but he is also now facing criminal charges after a major Garda investigation. We have established that the decision has already been made to charge him with a number of serious charges – and gardaí are preparing a security plan to get him to and from court in the coming weeks.
Sources told the Irish Mirror he is likely to be escorted by members of the heavily armed Garda Emergency Response Unit when he is driven from Cork to an unnamed courthouse. He is facing at least six charges – including threats to kill two warders and a senior staff member at Portlaoise Prison.
He is also facing two counts of assault and another of assault causing harm for allegedly attacking warders in the jail. The maximum penalty for the assault charges is five years – while he is facing double that if he is convicted of threats to kill. But because he is serving a life sentence, it is likely he will not serve a single extra day if he is convicted.
However, sources said he was such an infamous killer that he would serve at least 20 years in prison for the Daithí Douglas murder – and his prison record would also be assessed if and when he applies for parole. “He will be in for a long, long time,” a source said.
“And how he has behaved in custody so far will have a major bearing on any parole application. He won’t be being moved to an open prison any time soon, that’s for sure.” News of his fresh prosecution comes just under a fortnight after Thompson lost his appeal against the conviction of the July 2016 murder of Mr Douglas, 55, in south inner city Dublin.
He wanted his conviction quashed over his identification using CCTV footage. In April of last year, lawyers for Thompson argued that his conviction for the murder of Mr Douglas should be overturned due to the quality of images used, breaches of his privacy, and over the lack of records on how he was identified by gardaí from the footage.
Mr Douglas, a father-of-one, was shot six times as he had lunch at a counter in his partner’s shop, Shoestown, on Bridgefoot Street, Dublin 8, on July 1, 2016. A semi-automatic pistol with its serial number removed was found next to his head.
Thompson had pleaded not guilty to his involvement in the murder of Mr Douglas but was jailed for life at the Special Criminal Court in August 2018 after a 12-day trial. At the Court of Appeal last April, John D Fitzgerald SC, for Thompson, said one of the grounds of appeal against his client’s conviction related to CCTV identifying Thompson driving a car linked to the murder.
Mr Fitzgerald said the State’s case had been a circumstantial one, with one strand being the CCTV identification made by two gardaí relating to Thompson driving the Fiesta in convoy with a Mercedes Benz, known in the trial as “the murder car”, a Suzuki Swift, which was the ultimate getaway car, and a burned-out Mitsubishi Mirage.
Mr Fitzgerald said CCTV montages were used in the trial tracking the movements of the convoy throughout the day. They traced Thompson and his associates to and from the scene, culminating in the group going to Little Caesar’s restaurant off Grafton Street in Dublin city centre at around 8pm.
The barrister said no record or notes of the procedure around the Garda identification had been taken and therefore it was not possible to test the validity of the identification, which he said was a “very important part of the State’s case”.
“There were no procedures in place and no training in how to show footage to Garda witnesses,” said Mr Fitzgerald. Counsel had also argued that some CCTV footage should have been excluded from the trial because the recordings were a breach of the appellant’s right to privacy and of data protection law. But at the Court of Appeal on January 30, Ms Justice Úna Ní Raifeartaigh read out a lengthy judgement dismissing Thompson’s conviction appeal.