One of the most, Bizzare Criminal Cases, in Irish Criminal Courts, History, Walter Mitty, is Right.

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GOON CAGED 

Man, 38, jailed after being solicited by pal to kill couple and labelled ‘Walter Mitty’ in court

  • Published: 19:27, 2 May 2023
  • Updated: 19:27, 2 May 2023

A “WALTER Mitty” type who was solicited by an acquaintance to kill his wife’s friends was jailed for two years today.

Alan Leech, 38, had pleaded guilty to demanding money with menaces from both his pal and his wife on three occasions in January 2020.

Alan Leech, 38, was jailed for two years
Alan Leech, 38, was jailed for two yearsCredit: Patrick Cummins http://www.PCPhoto.ie
Bryan Kennedy was sentenced to four and a half years in prison
Bryan Kennedy was sentenced to four and a half years in prisonCredit: Patrick Cummins http://www.PCPhoto.ie

Leech, of Churchtown, Dublin 14, was described during an earlier sentence hearing as a “local junkie” who had milked his friend Bryan Kennedy “like a cash cow” when Kennedy approached him about murdering the women his wife had met online.

At the sentence hearing last month, the court heard that Leech and Kennedy knew each other as their children went to the same school.

Kennedy confided in Leech that his wife was having an online relationship with a couple who lived in Canada and that he believed the only way to salvage his marriage was to arrange for the couple to be killed.

Garda Tony Galway told Karl Moran BL, prosecuting, that Leech quoted the figure of €10,000 and led Kennedy to believe that he had contracted third parties to carry out the murder.

Last January, Kennedy, of Mount Tallant Avenue, Harold’s Cross, Dublin, was sentenced at the Central Criminal Court to four and a half years in prison for soliciting Leech to murder two women on a date between October 2019 and January 2020.

Kennedy’s sentence was deferred to allow time for him to put in place care for his children.

Today Judge Orla Crowe jailed Leech for two years after she said this scheme led to him making repeated demands for money from the victim and his wife.

She said Leech had taken advantage of “a highly unusual situation” but accepted that he pleaded guilty and was remorseful.

Gda Galway told the court last month that Kennedy, who was on social welfare, borrowed money from family members, friends and neighbours and paid Leech the sum of €8,000 to arrange the murder.

The court heard that Leech never contracted any third parties nor planned to carry out a murder, but had simply taken advantage of Kennedy’s mistaken belief that he had criminal connections.

When Kennedy failed to pay the outstanding €2,000, Leech’s messages became more direct and threatening.

Leech has 43 previous convictions, including 27 for theft in 2009 for which he served an 18-month sentence. He told gardaí on arrest that he had a drug debt and had just taken advantage of Kennedy.

‘GOT IT FROM WATCHING FILMS’

He told gardai: “Bryan thought I was involved in gangs and I played along. I thought, if he’s not man enough to control his wife, I’ll take advantage of it.”

The court heard that at one point Leech had an earbud in his ear while talking to Kennedy to pretend that he was on the phone to third parties who were threatening him.

Leech told gardai: “I got it from watching films.”

A victim impact statement submitted by Kennedy’s wife said she has been frightened of leaving the house ever since she was threatened by Leech.

She said: “This man has ruined my life, my mental and physical health and my children. My children’s father is in jail because of this.”

Justin McQuade BL, defending Leech, said his client had no gangland connections and had simply played Kennedy “like a salmon” by pretending that he was in contact with third parties.

Mr McQuade said: “There was a couple of Walter Mittys on both sides.”

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