Dubliner who 'dismembered' man's body in Holland is sentenced to two and a half years for Longford drugs possession

Court hears how man's life is now "under threat" from criminals

Liam Cosgrove

Reporter:

Liam Cosgrove

Email:

liam.cosgrove@longfordleader.ie

Longford Courthouse.

A man who was previously convicted of helping to dismember a body in Holland three years ago, has been sentenced to two and half years in prison for drugs possession at a house in Edgeworthstown

A feared Dublin criminal who was convicted of dismembering a man’s body and dumping it in a Dutch lake has been sentenced to two and a half years in prison for drugs possession at Longford Circuit Criminal Court.

 

Philip County (33), with an address in Edgeworthstown Co Longford, was handed down the sentence by Judge Keenan Johnston after Mr County pleaded guilty to to possession of cocaine and MDMA with a total street value of €7,298 during an armed raid at his home in Edgeworthstown, Co Longford, in October 2017.

The Dubliner had previously been released on bail in May where he was informed by Judge Johnston that he was facing a three year prison sentence with final two years being suspended.

Mr County’s bail was, however, revoked just weeks later when it emerged Mr County had a conviction at the Amsterdam Court of Appeal from May 2017.

The terms of that sentence involved Mr County’s conviction of being a co-perpetrator in the concealment, removal and disposal of a corpse in Amsterdam and had been sentenced to 21 months in prison.

In May 2017, Mr County and two other men were sentenced to two years in prison for hiding the dead man’s body in 2009, but County had already served that time while on remand in a Dutch prison.

In light of the Amsterdam conviction, Judge Johnston remanded Mr County in prison in June until his reappearance in court yesterday for sentencing.

The court was told that when gardaí called to Mr County’s home in Edgeworthstown at the time they found 71 grammes of cocaine, 33 grammes of MDMA and 30 MDMA tablets with an overall street value of €7,298.

Drug paraphernalia and evidence of drug dealing was also found on the premises.

The court heard a probation report carried out on Mr County while in custody was “not positive” in its findings.

It found the accused to be at high risk of reoffending and detailed his “criminal associations”, attitude towards offending, substance misuse as well as emotional and personal issues.

Judge Johnston also referenced Mr County’s previous conviction in Holland and noted how he told probation officers of the incident.

“The accused was involved in a very serious crime in Holland in respect the body of a deceased person was dismembered by him with the help of some other associates,” he said.

“In the probation report, the accused indicated that the individual involved had been murdered while he was away from his apartment and when he came back he assisted the other parties in disposing of the body.”

The court heard that Mr County still had eight months left of a 21 month sentence to serve in the Netherlands for that incident with Dutch law enforcement officials likely to seek his extradition to serve out the remainder of that sentence upon his release from Irish prison.

It also emerged that despite having a “reasonably good family support” Mr County’s mother has also been convicted of drugs possession.

Judge Johnston referenced Mr County's "prior convictions" of which he has over 50, including a number for drugs and firearms.

The court further heard how gardaí have since warned Mr County his life is under threat from unnamed criminals with the defendant’s wife also having left him in recent months.

In mitigation, Judge Hughes said Mr County’s early guilty plea had  saved the State “the time, cost and expense of a criminal trial” while also commenting on his “forthright” admissions and cooperation with probation officers.

He consequently sentenced Mr County to five years in prison with the final two and half years suspended on condition he enter a €500 bond to keep the peace and be of good behaviour for ten years.

On release from prison, Mr County was also ordered to submit himself to probation services for a period of 18 months and to remain drug free for the duration of the suspended sentence.