Tohill kidnappers sentenced

Two of the four men convicted of abducting Bobby Tohill, in Belfast on 20th February 2004, have been sentenced to seven years and six and a half years each following their re-arrest last Monday whilst on-the-run. The other two are still on-the-run. The court was read a letter from Mr Tohill claiming he was now a personal friend of the four men and didn’t want them to go to prison. [if there was ever a *shakes head* moment it’s now – Ed] The court also received a petition for clemency signed by two dozen members of the kidnappers` families.From the report

Gerard McCrory, 34, received seven years in prison and Thomas Tolan, 35, was given a six-and-a-half-year term for abducting Bobby Tohill from a Belfast city centre bar in February 2004.

Meanwhile..

Those still are large are Harry Fitzsimons, 37, from Spamount Street, and Liam Rainey, 33, from New Barnsley Crescent, Belfast.

And..

Lord Justice Girvan said Mr Tohill had been rescued by police and emerged from his captors` van dazed and confused and with his face covered in blood.
“The actions of the defendants showed that they have little or no remorse for their actions, they didn`t by their actions evince any intention of co-operating with the court,” Mr Justice Girvan said.

A letter from Mr Tohill, read to the court, said he had become friends with his assailants and did not want them to go to jail.

The pair absconded before they were due to be sentenced in Belfast last year and were recovered by police on January 23.

Mr Tohill`s abduction dealt a blow to the political process in 2004 after Police Service of Northern Ireland Chief Constable Sir Hugh Orde blamed the Provisional IRA.

The court heard how Mr Tohill`s complete lack of co-operation with police, refusing to give evidence at the trial or write a statement, had left Mr Justice Girvan with little inkling of their purpose except that it was an organised paramilitary-linked attack with serious lawlessness planned.

“The reasonable inference the court must draw in the absence of any explanation put to the court is that this was an organised crime and it had the hallmark of paramilitarism, even if it`s not one that was associated with a particular paramilitary organiation,” he added. “The degree of organisation showed that this was a pre-planned operation.”

Hmm..

,

  • parcifal

    By saying nothing I’m sure they thought they were serving a higher noble purpose.
    well they’ve earned 5yrs + to consider whether their initial actions were courageous or cowardly. Hmmmn!

  • AMAZED

    Special Agent McQuinness can be proud of himself for demonstrating his party’s support for the Diplock courts.

  • Rory

    I was at a party in West London in 1975 and a woman with curling red hair, after plying me with strong drink until I became woozy, drove me off in a fast sports car to her luxurious flat in West Hampstead. Had I called the police when I came to my senses some 72 hours later I am sure she would have been up for kidnapping, but by that time, strangely enough, we had become close personal friends.

    Was I, do you think, like Patty Hearst, suffering from the effects of Stockholm Syndrome and might it be too late after this passage of time to now sue her for the loss of my innocence?

    As you might imagine I feel unable to turn to Herself for advice on this matter.

  • harpo

    ‘Had I called the police when I came to my senses some 72 hours later I am sure she would have been up for kidnapping, but by that time, strangely enough, we had become close personal friends.’

    Rory:

    Are you saying that the 4 Provos involved in the Tohill case had sexual designs on Tohill?

    IIRC the 4 were in boiler suits and had various items of a non-sexual aid nature with them. More of a paramilitary nature. And didn’t they force him into the van, bloodying his nose in the process?

    Maybe this is all familiar to you as foreplay leading up to some sweet five-way gay action back in the New Lodge, but most folks would take it that they were about to administer some physical punishment on Tohill.

    Did your red-head bloody your nose and drag you into her vehicle? Or did she simply ply you with drink and bat her eyes at you, so that you were willing to follow her?

  • big mac

    Clearly Harpos on the Harp or something so stronger………….

  • I have heard it all now.

    The IRA have been accused of many things over the years, but this is the first time I have ever heard the IRA be accused of S+M “Village people” Bondage in the back of the “Bang Bus”

    If this is to believed, then does that exclude IRA members from adopting children through the Catholic church?

    Borat got it wrong, it was the IRA who were responsible for the Dinosaurs extinction.

  • Furthermore, perhaps at the appeal, they should use the “Bang Brothers, Bondage, Blowing, Boiler suit” defense?

    If this incident could be portrayed as a sordid sexual session gone wrong, adding, the stigma of being gay meant they had to be mobile, the Judges may give them a pass, or even, make a pass !!

  • harpo

    ‘The IRA have been accused of many things over the years, but this is the first time I have ever heard the IRA be accused of S+M “Village people” Bondage in the back of the “Bang Bus” ‘

    Art:

    I was just replying to Rory’s post. He raised this issue of sexual predators taking advantage of unsuspecting folks in pubs.

    He either told that story to :
    1. Deflect attention from the news that 2 of the 4 Provos have been jailed, or
    2. Because he felt his story was related to the Tohill incident.

    Which do you think he meant?

    The point of his story was that just because someone ‘takes you’ from a pub doesn’t mean that they meant to get violent with you. They may have had sexual designs on you instead. Men do this to women all the time, and in Rory’s case some redhead (presumably female) did it to him.

    Did any of these guys have any previous form? I’m told that many of the paramilitary prisoners engaged in gay acts in jail. Maybe these guys wanted more of that sort of action. You know how that sort like to treat some unsuspecting person as their new bitch.

  • Fimble

    it was something stronger, after all………

  • Did any of these guys have any previous form? I’m told that many of the paramilitary prisoners engaged in gay acts in jail. Maybe these guys wanted more of that sort of action. You know how that sort like to treat some unsuspecting person as their new bitch.

    Harpo you are a legal genius, case cracked.

    A campaign should be started to condem this sentence and order the immidiate release of these two because it is like sentencing a drunk to seven/five years working behind a bar.

    Society will be best served by preventing these men from contact with all male populations as a real punishment for their crimes.

    They should be either transferred to a female prison, or be released and tagged to stop them mixing with innocent males.

  • gerry

    Some of them big weemen are lethal, but without sounding too boring, are these now provisional political prisoners? and if so what is therir status and how will they go inside, who will claim them ? the odc’s the ira wings or rule42 given there could be a sexual nature to their defence?

  • Rory

    Harpo,

    Dear me! Violent sado=masohistic gay sex (and with boiler suits – whatever they might be. (Something that “old boilers” wear, I can only assume).

    I was merely illustrating a reference to the “Stockholm Syndrome”, by way of anecdotal memory, which I strangely thought might be pertinent to the matter of the “victim’s” new found friendship with his abductors.

    I seem to have quite innocently sent some off at another tangent. Still it’s refreshing to know that the influence of William Burroughs remains alive and well among a younger generation.

  • Dec

    Personally, I’m still waiting for Gerry Adams to instruct republicans who have information on the whereabouts of the two men still at large to contact the PSNI. I’ll not hold my breath though…

  • The Devil

    Very light sentences indeed for Kidnapping, GBH, membership of an illegal organisation, conspiracy to murder, attempted murder, hijacking, jumping bail and now according to Rory gay gang-banging

    …..hmmmmm I would have hanged them for a laugh

  • Aisling?

    A simple question to any SF members out there. Are these two men now criminals or political prisoners? Will those whose orders they obeyed (in the unlikely event of them being charged, convicted and sentenced) be ODC’s or political prisoners? Does Gerry A, Martin McG, Gerry K, Bik, Leo Green, Raymond McCartney, Laurence McKeown, Seanna Walsh, etc, now look on these 2 sentenced men as ODC’s or political prisoners?

  • Shane O’Neill

    Maybe Londongerry will order that those who sent the four out should call to the local police station and hand themselves in. Or if anyone who has knowledge of who may have given the order report it to the police.

    Yeah, they are now criminals, because Londongerry agreed that all in past, present and future are criminals. Londongerry isn’t, because he was never a member of any republican crimal gang, but Martin is!!!

  • Red Mist

    The Devil,

    They were only facing charges of kidnapping end of. The other ream of charges you ahve added are without any foundation…particularly the gang banging one I may add.

  • lib2016

    FFS – most of these guys are cousins! It was a nasty brutal criminal incident but it happens regularly every Saturday night that people get badly and criminally beaten up in every city and most villages, frequently by their own extended families.

    Sinn Fein are the good guys waiting for unionists to deliver on powersharing. Don’t keep fighting past battles you have already lost and get with the program.

  • The Devil

    lib2016,

    but it’s the sentence we’re talking about, don’t you as someone who has seen the light of day and joined with your leaders in becoming “born again british subjects” not find the sentencing extremely light.
    Surely the idea of joining the criminal justice system was so than “CRIMINALS” like the Tohill kidnappers could be severly dealt with, not just given a slap across the wrist were they will only be off the streets for 3 years.
    Would you feel safe with these thugs back on the streets to kidnap you children on a Saturday night?

    by the way people don’t get beaten up every saturday night by members of an illegal organisation wearing anti-forensic disposable boiler suits in a hijacked van carrying cudgels who then proceed to abduct them…
    or are you just a propagandist for criminals?

  • lib2016

    The Devil,

    I’ve condemned this as being nasty, criminal and brutal and made no comment about the sentence. Which part of my post did you not understand?

    In fact seven years seems a reasonable sentence to me but I freely admit to having little knowledge and no personal experience of these things.

    If you have evidence for your remarks about the perpetrators of this you seem to have neglected to give it to the police. Shame on you, you reprobate! 😉

  • harpo

    ‘boiler suits – whatever they might be’

    Rory:

    You don’t know what a boiler suit is?

  • harpo

    ‘FFS – most of these guys are cousins!’

    lib2016:

    Yikes. Now you introduce the incest angle.

    Now it’s a Provo keep-it-in-the-family gay gang bang scenario.

    As for the beatings every Saturday night theory, sure that happens, but do most such beatings involve members of an illegal terrorist organization working together in boiler suits to get one specific guy into a van?

    That hardly desrcibes most drunken post-pub brawls.

    It sounds more like terrorism to me.

    ‘Sinn Fein are the good guys’

    Who mentioned them? And why do you introduce them to a discussion about PIRA members?

  • deadmanonleave

    Have to admire Tohill’s balls, sorry, guts (in view of the way this debate has gone)! I mean, I don’t believe a word about being mates with the Provo’s that tried to give him a beating or worse, but in sticking to Republican principles of not co-operating with the British, it’s a shame PSF and PIRA forgot which side they were on.

    If I remember correctly Tohill only escaped death in the INLA/IPLO feud because when he and another INLA man got jumped by an IPLO gang, the IPLO’s top gunman Martin ‘Rook’ O’Prey (rekknowned as a fairly ruthless operator) couldn’t bring himself to fire the fatal shot at Tohill as they’d worked together in many operations before the Kirkpatrick trials and susequent feud. You kind of think once that’s happened to you, then a beating from a few Provo’s and a lucky escape thanks to the Rozzers isn’t going to phase you too much!

  • Here’s an interesting factoid.

    The two kidnappers were arrested on 22 January, around nine months after going on the run. During that time the Irish News had repeatedly tried – without success – to obtain a description of the men from the police, who usually issue a ‘wanted’ type statement or photographs when kidnappers go on the run.

    By sheer coincidence, the Police Ombudsman’s report came out the same day. Two examples of collusion that it contained were:

    By cancelling the wanted status of murder suspects “because of lack of resources” and doing nothing further about these suspects;

    By cancelling the wanted status of murder suspects “because of lack of resources” and doing nothing further about these suspects;

    How convenient that these allegations could no longer be made.

    One might almost be forgiven that these arrests were carried out to ensure that collusion could now be regarded as something that only happened in the past…

    …unless you count the police dropping their investigation into the attempted murder of the informer at the centre of the Ombudsman’s report. Now that would be embarrassing, since it happened only a few weeks beforehand…

  • harpo

    ‘Have to admire Tohill’s balls, sorry, guts (in view of the way this debate has gone)! I mean, I don’t believe a word about being mates with the Provo’s that tried to give him a beating or worse, but in sticking to Republican principles of not co-operating with the British, it’s a shame PSF and PIRA forgot which side they were on.’

    Deadman:

    What balls/guts does it take to refuse to cooperate with the authorities? They aren’t going to kneecap you if you don’t get your story straight.

    What would have taken guts would have been Tohill telling the 4 Provos to fuck off and giving evidence against them in court.

    Tohill has no guts. He is showing this by saying that he is great pals with the 4 Provos. He’s simply saving his own skin.

  • deadmanonleave

    The provos seem intent on settling a few old scores on the quiet, but Tohill didn’t take the easy out of getting them banged up.

    No, he’s a Republican and that means not co-operating with the occupation forces. Perhaps some in the Provisional movement might remember the tough choices and sacrifices that this meant.