This Drogheda Gangland, Bloody Feud, has a Way, to go Yet; many Questions, People, Whispers in the Town, as to Who Hid Lawlor, for Weeks? Who Drove Lawlor, to Belfast? It took time Before the Crazed Killer, was Shot Dead. Yes, Gardai, Want, to Talk, to many People, that’s a Fact, Time will Tell us More?

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Dean Thornton leaving Drogheda Court in May 2019

Drogheda feud thug boasts he was only in jail for a ‘minute’ over brutal torture 

25th October 2022

A Drogheda feud gang member who was involved in the horror abduction and gruesome torture of a man has boasted “It’s been a minute” as he is pictured on his release from prison.

Dean Thornton leaving Drogheda Court in May 2019© Mick O’Neill

Convicted drug dealer Dean Thornton, 25 – who has links to the anti-Maguire faction of the bitter feud – was jailed for three years for his role in the horror abduction and torture of Aaron Rochford in a house in the Moneymore estate in the Louth town in November 2018.

The anti-Maguire faction have been at war with associates of paralysed mob boss Owen Maguire since 2018.

Mr Rochford, then 22 years old, was found by gardai in a state of shock, unclothed in a bathtub and covered in blood having sustained a broken jaw and slash wounds to his upper torso and head.He subsequently died in non-suspicious circumstances in 2019.

Armed gardai stormed the house and saved Rochford’s life, Dublin Circuit Court heard when Thornton was sentenced.

Thornton, of Beechwood Drive, Marley’s Lane in Drogheda, who has a number of previous convictions, pleaded guilty to his involvement in the horror ordeal which was linked to the Drogheda feud.

Judge Martin Nolan said Thornton had been involved in a “rather nasty and serious assault.”

He said every crime had a context but mob rule and mob law had no place in Drogheda or any other part of the country and Thornton should not have involved himself.

Now Thornton, who was released from prison last week, has now boasted on social media that his time behind bars was “a minute.”

He posted a photograph of himself smiling with a pal sitting in a pub with drinks in their hands. He captioned the post “It’s been a minute” with a smiley emoji.

During his sentencing hearing for his involvement in the abduction and torture of Mr Rochford, Thornton handed in a letter of apology claiming he has turned his back on a life of crime and will go straight when he gets out of jail.

On the day of the incident on November 11, 2018 Rochford had been abducted by the anti-Maguire faction after a car was driven into the area with gas cylinders in it and subsequently set alight.

The young man was put in a VW car before being taken to a house in Moneymore.

CCTV footage showed Thornton punch Rochford in the face as he brought him into the property. When inside the house Rochford was stripped naked and viciously tortured by the gang.

He was sliced multiple times with a knife and brutally beaten leaving him with multiple injuries including a broken jaw.

Gardai had received information Rochford was being held in the house and the Armed Support Unit were brought in to breach the property.

The court heard that when they entered the property they found Rochford “unclothed, covered in blood and in a state of shock”.

The abduction gang were in a neighbouring house when gardai arrived and they eventually came out with their hands up.

Associates of the anti-Maguire faction have been involved in numerous violent incidents including gun attacks and the vicious killing and dismemberment of teenager Keane Mulready-Woods in January 2020.

They had links to violent Dublin hitman Robbie Lawlor who was shot dead in Belfast in April 2020.

Two leading members of the anti-Maguire faction have been on the run shortly after the gruesome killing of Keane Mulready-Woods and are wanted by gardai.

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