Runaway thug John Mangan fled prison after guards found ‘burner’ phone used to send death threats to innocent family
Inmate used phone inside jail to terrorise family over €12K he claims he is owed
October 10 2021 02:30 AM
Ireland’s most wanted criminal John Mangan fled Loughan House open prison after being caught with a contraband ‘burner’ phone – because it links him to death threats against an innocent family that could land him another 10 years in prison.
In a series of shock revelations, and as the manhunt for the 53-year-old double-murder suspect enters its sixth day, the Sunday World today:
- Carries the only interview with the man whose family members have been threatened with death by Mangan;
- Publishes screen grabs of texts sent by the convicted drug dealer, from inside the open prison, threatening to abscond and burn the man’s family out of their home;
- Reveals how the threats have been ongoing for two months and began with Mangan phoning the man ‘out of the blue’ in August to claim his son owes him ‘€12,000 for drugs;’
- And, finally, tells how Mangan sent an associate to the man’s north Dublin home on Wednesday – the day after we broke the story of his escape from Loughan House on sundayworld.com – demanding €10,000 in cash from him.
Mangan, who was previously named in court as being involved in the murders of Martin ‘Marlo’ Hyland and innocent plumber Anthony Campbell, fled Loughan House open prison on Monday night.
He had been moved to the Co Cavan facility to serve out the final four years of a 14-year sentence imposed on gun and drug related convictions.
Mangan had been placed in the open jail after he was deemed to be low risk of absconding ahead of his scheduled release in January 2024.
But unbeknownst to prison bosses, Mangan has, since August, been using a contraband phone, commonly referred to ‘burners’, to inflict terror on a Dublin family in a bid to extort the sum of €12,000 from them.
“This all started about two months ago,” the victim told the Sunday World.
“It was out of the blue and he contacted me on a different number altogether.
“It was an 089 number as well.
“It was a voice call and it was basically to say: ‘Your son owes me money for drugs … for cocaine’ and he wanted €12,000 or my son was getting a bullet in the head.
“At the beginning I thought it was a joke because when that guy was sentenced 13 years ago, my son was 13. So I did think it was a joke until I made some inquiries of my own.
“And I was able to check on whether he was who he said he was.
“A friend of a friend was able to speak to someone down there and they told me he was there.
“And I was told he was a sociopath, not a psychopath, a sociopath – those were the words that were relayed back to me.”
The man said he told his son, who has a family of his own and a full-time job, what Mangan had alleged and his son didn’t know what he was talking about. “I know my son and I know when he’s lying and he wasn’t lying. He had no idea who this fella was.
“My generation would have known who this lad [Mangan] was. But the generation after, they wouldn’t have a clue who he is.”
The man said he tried to speak to Mangan and tell him that his son didn’t owe him anything but it was no good.
“I tried to ask him [Mangan] what this was about. I tried to ask all those questions but I wasn’t given any answers.
“I was told he owes it and that he wanted it and that was the end of it, basically.”
The man said after the initial contact, things went quiet until it kicked off again in earnest again two weeks ago.
“It started with private calls and then there were calls off Whatsapp,” the man told the Sunday World.
“As you can see in the screenshots of the messages, I told him to leave us alone and that this was nothing to do with us.
“I don’t know where he got it into his head that my son owes him this money.
“When he started again two weeks ago, it was: “I want my f**king money or your son’s getting it.
“I’m not in that lifestyle but I know what ‘getting it’ means.
“And I fear for my son.”
The man said, in a bid to end the threats, he cut off contact by refusing to answer the phone.
He said Mangan then began texting him from an 089 number on Whatspp.
One series of messages exchanged between Mangan’s burner phone and the man’s number over a two hour period on a single day reads:
15.09 Mangan: ‘You answer ur f**kin phone or I swear I’ll leave here and head straight for you.’
15.21 Man: ‘Leave us alone.’
15.41 Mangan: ‘Leave you alone. I’ll burn your rat family out of *******.’
16.34:: Missed call from Mangan’s phone.
16.36: Man: ‘Stop ring [sic], just leave us alone.’
16.36: Missed call from Mangan’s phone.
16.38 Man: ‘Look this need to stop.’
16.44 Mangan: ‘ Your getting it. You and your rat family.’
Asked why he didn’t go to the gardai, the man responds: “The area where I’m from, it’s still not an area where you can go to the guards and make a statement, and then afterwards live with your neighbours as if nothing has happened.
“After the texts, the private numbers started ringing me and I thought then, this needs to stop.
“My wife had been to the doctor and was put on tablets for her nerves. The only reason I’m not taking those tablets is because I need to stay alert even though I haven’t been able to get any sleep in a long time.”
Out of options and acting out of utter desperation, the man said he contacted the Irish Prison Service by email and informed them that Mangan had a contraband phone in Loughan House which he was using to threaten him.
“There’s no point in me denying I did that.
“The man Mangan sent to my door on Wednesday told me he knows it was me who reported him, he said: ‘Johnny knows it was you.’
“What I’m told by the friend of a friend who is in Loughan House is that five prison officers went into Mangan’s room to do the search.
“They searched the room and found the phone.
“And then they left him to his own devices in the prison.
“I just can’t understand that.
“They found the phone, but then they left him there to escape later that night. I don’t see how that makes any sense at all.
“There are cells down there where people can be locked in, so, why wasn’t he put in there?”
The man said when Mangan’s associate called to his home on Wednesday, he was told: ‘He knows it was you [who reported him to the Prison Service] and he wants his money.’
“I told him I’d try and get it for him,” the man continued.
“What else could I do or say?
“If someone is at your door and you know what they are capable of … what else can you say?
“I mean what else could I say?
“I don’t have that money.
“All I can hope is they catch him and that ends this.”