Convicted Murderer, Penrose, is the Son, of a Retired, Garda?

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Convicted gangland murderer Stephen Penrose handed extra sentence for having drugs in prison

 30th November 2022

A convicted murderer has been handed an additional sentence for possession of drugs while in Mountjoy Prison.

Stephen Penrose (39), who is incarcerated in Cloverhill Prison, pleaded guilty to a count of possession of diamorphine for sale and supply at Mountjoy Prison on January 29, 2020. He is currently serving a life sentence for murder.

Penrose, the son of a former garda, was convicted last year for the murder of his friend, Philip Finnegan, who was missing for three weeks before his decapitated remains were found in a shallow grave in woods in Kildare.

In July 2010, Penrose was jailed for nine years for the May 2009 manslaughter of David Sharkey, who was stabbed by Penrose 13 times in a stairwell while delivering heroin to an apartment in Navan, Co Meath.

Imposing sentence at Dublin Circuit Criminal Court today, Judge Pauline Codd said it is an aggravating factor that Penrose is serving a sentence and the offence was committed in prison.

She said there had to be a deterrence to prevent people bringing drugs into prison, which is “already a difficult enough place”.

Judge Codd handed Penrose a two-and-a-half-year prison sentence to run concurrent with his existing sentence.

Garda Deirdre Gill told Katherine McGillicuddy BL, prosecuting, that on the day in question, Penrose was receiving a supervised visit from another person, who is understood to have been his partner at that time.

During the visit, one of the prison officers noted Penrose lean across the table to kiss his partner. Penrose was seen placing his right hand in her pocket and removing a package, which he attempted to conceal.

When prison officers intervened, Penrose appeared to panic and attempted to pass the package back to her. She then gave the package to prison officers.

The package contained four smaller packages. These included a mobile phone, 49.2 grammes of diamorphine, with an estimated value of €6,874 and 113 zopiclone tablets, with a value of €226.

After arrest, Penrose initially said he did not receive the drugs, but then changed his story and made admissions. He said he did not know about the package until the visit. Penrose said his partner told him to give the package to another individual in prison, but he did not say who.

In mitigation, Judge Codd noted Penrose’s guilty plea, his apology and expressions of remorse

In mitigation, Judge Codd noted Penrose’s guilty plea, his apology and expressions of remorse

Penrose has 34 previous convictions, including for one for murder, one for manslaughter, and six for possession of drugs.

Defence counsel said his client apologised for his actions. He also noted that the drugs had been brought to the prison for a third party.

In mitigation, Judge Codd noted Penrose’s guilty plea, his apology and expressions of remorse.

While Penrose is already serving a long sentence, Judge Codd said a deterrence must be imposed to “mark the seriousness of the offence”.

Penrose is considered one of the most dangerous gangland criminals in the country.

In his murder case last year, the jury unanimously rejected Penrose’s defence that he had last seen Mr Finnegan being stabbed in the back during an attack by a group of men at “a forest” or “close to a wood”, having arranged to collect firearms from them.

Gardaí believe that the murder of Mr Finnegan in August 2016 was ordered by the victim’s former associates in the Rattigan gang from behind the bars of the high-security Portlaoise Prison.

Gardaí have been working on the theory that the origins of the murder is a bitter cash argument that Mr Finnegan got into with gang boss Brian Rattigan.

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