15 Aug 2022

Solicitor who gave phone to prisoner convicted of rape fails to turn up in court

Joanne Kangley (41) missed flight due to sick child, court hears

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Portlaoise Courthouse on Main Street.

A former solicitor who pleaded guilty to giving a mobile phone to a convicted rapist serving a sentence in Portlaoise Prison failed to turn up in court this morning for sentencing, as she apparently missed her flight from Europe due to one of her children being sick.

Joanne Kangley (41), formerly of Bailieborough, Co Cavan, but now residing outside of Ireland, pleaded guilty to supplying a mobile phone to an inmate of Portlaoise Prison on November 6, 2014.

When evidence in the case was heard on Tuesday, April 2, State barrister, Mr Sean Gillane SC, along with Detective Garda Daniel Treacy, of Dun Laoghaire Garda Station, outlined that on November 6, 2014, the prisoner was transferred to the Midlands Regional Hospital in Portlaoise where he was put in a room in a supervised capacity, with prison officers in attendance.

Ms Kangley attended at the hospital for a private visit with him while the prison officers waited outside.

On February 10, 2015, the prisoner spoke to an assistant chief officer at the prison, informing him that he had a mobile phone hidden up his rectum. The prisoner said he had been given the phone by his solicitor in hospital.

The court heard that the prisoner used the phone to make threats against certain individuals.

The phone was also used to make regular contact with a number belonging to Ms Kangley.

When arrested and questioned, Ms Kangley told gardaí that the prisoner had threatened her and her family.

The court heard that the prisoner threatened to fillet Ms Kangley and rape her child and so she gave him her work phone for her own protection.

Ms Kangley told the gardaí that during visits with him he would drop in bits of information about her, or her family, and there was fear on her part. She said he had asked her for phones before and she said no, which had angered him.

On this occasion, he asked her for a phone and she said no. To this, the prisoner told her to remember what he was serving a sentence for and then mentioned her child, so she handed the phone over.

She also admitted buying him the SIM card and topping up the phone.

Ms Kangley has now moved abroad. She has no previous convictions.

Judge Keenan Johnson said this was a serious and unusual case and he wanted time to consider the matter, so sentencing was adjourned to Friday, April 5.

When the case came back before the court this morning for sentencing, barrister, Mr Colm Hennessy said that the accused was not present as she had missed her flight from the European country where she now resides due to one of her children being sick.

Judge Keenan Johnson said this was not very satisfactory and remarked he was surprised she had gone back to the country.

Mr Hennessy explained that the accused had returned home to get her two children, with arrangements made for her to bring them with her to Ireland.

The matter was adjourned to this Tuesday, April 9.

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