Drogheda man who claimed his DNA was on gun because he held it at party is jailed
Colin Kevitt (29) was sentenced to four years and eight months with the final year suspended
Yesterday at 16:45
A man who claimed his DNA was on a loaded semi-automatic pistol because he had earlier handled it at a party has been jailed for possession of the weapon.
Colin Kevitt (29) of Moneymore, Drogheda, Co Louth pleaded guilty at Dublin Circuit Criminal Court to possession of the 9mm Glock semi-automatic pistol at another home in the town on February 8, 2020.
He has previous conviction for more minor offences dealt with in the District Court.
It was accepted in court that there is no evidence that the gun had been used in any criminal offence.
The court heard that the gun was found wrapped in black plastic underneath a flower pot in a wicker basket by the homeowner who was out tidying the front of her house. She was unable to remove the plastic and called the gardaí because she suspected it was a gun.
Gardaí later discovered it was a Glock pistol with five bullets loaded in the magazine. Further rounds of ammunition were found with the weapon. The gun was taken for forensic testing and found to be in fair condition.
Kevitt was arrested later in Dublin on a separate issue and his DNA was taken. His DNA was later found to match samples taken from the gun itself and he was questioned in relation to this but made no admissions.
Oisín Clarke BL, defending, told Judge Melanie Greally that his client now instructs that a friend had taken the gun out at a party previously and he handled it at that time. He submitted that his client’s DNA was not found on the bullets or the plastic wrapping that surrounded the gun.
Judge Greally said it was “obvious” that Kevitt had handled the weapon at some point. She said if it had been “such an innocent and passing encounter, I am sure that explanation would have been proffered at an earlier stage”, referring to the fact that Kevitt did not give this explanation to the gardaí when invited, during garda interview, to comment on how his DNA came to be on the gun.
She noted that his District Court convictions related to “concentrated offending” in 2017 and 2018 and how this offence “represents a very marked escalation” in his criminal behaviour.
Judge Greally said it was a very serious offence but accepted that Kevitt had a “background of addiction and homelessness”.
She set a headline sentence of six years which she reduced to four years and eight months to take into consideration mitigating factors including Kevitt’s guilty plea, lack of previous convictions for firearms and his positive engagement with the Probation Service.
She suspended the final year on various conditions including that he engage with addiction services. She backdated the sentence to August last year.