REVENGE ATTACK FEARS
Disgraced solicitor who faces jail over €120,000 social welfare scam says ‘Kinahans will kill me in prison’
A DISGRACED solicitor who faces jail over a €120,000 social welfare scam last night told us: “The Kinahans will kill me in prison.”
- Updated: 9 May 2021, 9:19
Herbert Kilcline, 60, is due to begin his time behind bars next Thursday after he was convicted of fraudulently claiming payments.
He was hit with a three-year sentence, with the final year and three months suspended, by a judge at a trial last week.
But Kilcline, from Rathmines in south Dublin, fears he will be targeted in prison because of his decision to make a witness statement against Kinahan cartel associate Alan Wilson, 39.
The lawyer made the statement when gardai were investigating the disappearance and murder of innocent Romanian teenager Marioara Rostas in 2008.
He also admitted that he put pressure on Wilson’s ex-pal Fergus O’Hanlon to give up her body.
O’Hanlon — who remains in witness protection — finally made the decision to come forward in December 2011 and led gardai to the teen’s remains in the Wicklow Mountains in January 2012.
Although Wilson was cleared of any involvement in the murder in 2014, Kilcline feels he will always be a target over his decision to co-operate with gardai.
He told the Irish Sun on Sunday: “I think I will be killed when I go to prison and I’m terrified.
“Everyone knows I co-operated with the Gardai when they were trying to find Marioara Rostas but that doesn’t make me a rat. All I was trying to do was to convince Fergus O’Hanlon to tell the guards where she was buried and Alan Wilson hated me for this.
“Alan Wilson is now serving time for an offence committed for the Kinahan cartel and there’s no doubt he can use their network to get me.
“I will be a sitting duck in the prison because of my health and it’s incumbent on the Irish Prison Service to look after me.”
Kilcline — who has health concerns because of the impact of the drug Thalidomide — added: “Look at me and look at my hands. I’m no match for the people I will be living alongside for the next couple of years.
“There are people who could destroy me in prison because I am not a hardened criminal. I’ve no doubt I will be looking over my shoulder for the next few years.”
Before Wilson went on trial and was acquitted on the teenager’s murder in 2014, Kilcline was warned of threats to his life.
On one occasion, he was taken from his home by the Emergency Response Unit after gardai in Pearse Street recovered a note in Cloverhill Prison with instructions for a hitman to kill KIlcline.
On another occasion, he was targeted by hitman John Wilson — who was later shot dead in 2012 — outside his home in 2011. But he could not bring himself to shoot Kilcline and battered him on the leg instead.
He also cheated death when Alan Wilson’s sister, Maxine, fired shots at him inside his home in June 2011.
Kilcline added: “I have been threatened on numerous occasions and the situation will probably get worse now that I’m going to prison.”
Kilcline told gardai he made the social welfare applications because he was excluded from compo payments made to Thalidomide victims who had birth defects.
Although the lawyer admitted he was wrong and has paid back the cash, he was shocked to be told he would be sent to prison.
But Judge Karen O’Connor said Kilcline’s moral culpability was “very high” and that he was motivated “by a grievance and an element of greed”.
He pleaded guilty at Dublin Circuit Criminal Court to obtaining disability allowance on false pretences between 1996-2001 and making a gain by deception in relation to social welfare payments on dates between 2004 and 2010.
‘AFFAIRS IN ORDER’
The civil law expert, who suffers from anxiety and depression, was given a week to get his “affairs in order” before being sent to prison.
He said: “I’ve never been convicted of anything in my life and I was not expecting that sentence.
“I’m still in shock and was taken completely by surprise that I would be sent to prison.
“I’ve had a few days to get my affairs in order and will be going to jail next week — I just hope I can return when the sentence is over. I hope to use my time wisely in prison and hopefully I can provide some legal advice to some of the inmates.”
At his trial, Kilcline said in 1992 he was officially diagnosed as a Thalidomide victim but was told the State compo scheme was out of time.