By Cormac Looney and Sonya McLean
Wednesday October 21 2009
A former amateur boxing champion and soldier who joined the notorious D22 crime gang has been jailed for four years.
Eric Wainsboro (21) was caught in possession of a 9mm revolver by Ballyfermot gardai.
The one-time fighter was also jailed for two years for assaulting a man at O'Connell Street in a separate incident.
The thug, from Cherry Garth, Rivervalley, Swords, received a concurrent two-year jail term for an attack on a young man on Dublin's O'Connell Street following an altercation between two groups of youths.
Wainsboro pleaded guilty at Dublin Circuit Criminal Court to possession of the gun on Sarsfield Road, Ballyfermot, and assault causing harm to Graham Weekes on Burgh Quay on dates between May 10, 2007 and August 19, 2008. He had 20 previous convictions.
According to sources, the former soldier is a member of the infamous D22 crime gang, the Clondalkin-based outfit headed by jailed killer Karl Breen.
The group is at the centre of a feud with former associates which has led to a number of shootings and killings, most recently the murder of Pierce Reid last August.
Garda Padraig O'Meara told the Central Criminal Court yesterday that gardai stopped a taxi at Ruby Finnegans Pub, on Sarsfield Road, after receiving confidential information.
Wainsboro, a back seat passenger in the car, was searched and the unloaded revolver was found hidden in his sock along with four rounds of calibre ammunition in his pocket.
Two other people, the second passenger in the car, and a man who later arrived in the pub, were also questioned but were never charged.
Gda O'Meara said that the revolver was a starting gun that had been reconstructed for use as a lethal weapon.
Garda Brendan Wright told Gerardine Small, prosecuting, that he was called to the scene of the assault in May 2007 and found Mr Weekes covered in blood and lying on the ground.
The victim was taken to hospital but discharged the next day. Although Mr Weekes had no recollection of the attack, witnesses gave gardai a good description of the culprits and Wainsboro was later arrested.
John Byrne, defending,said Wainsboro had had promising career in boxing from the time he was 15 to 18 years old.
He competed at a high stage at amateur level and at one time had been the national amateur champion.
He said that Wainsboro started to abuse both alcohol and cocaine while in the Army, but had addressed both problems.
- Cormac Looney and Sonya McLean