GUILTY: Thomas 'Bomber' Kavanagh of the Kinahan Cartel (NCA)
THE second in command of Ireland's most feared organised crime gang could face a five-year prison stretch after being found guilty of possessing a powerful stun gun disguised as a torch. Thomas 'Bomber' Kavanagh, 51, of the notorious Kinahan Cartel, was today found guilty by a jury of keeping the disguised "10,000-volt" stun gun among a stash of weapons at his fortified mansion in Tamworth, Staffordshire. Kavanagh, a prestige car dealer originally from Dublin, had previously admitted possession of the stun gun, but denied it had been disguised as a torch. But, he was convicted by a majority verdict at Stoke-on-Trent Crown Court after a three-day trial.
HIDDEN: The weapon looked like a simple torch (NCA)
The court heard officers from the National Crime Agency (NCA), who were investigating the supply of drugs and firearms, searched his home on January 12 and found the stun gun above kitchen wall units. Machetes and other weapons were stashed around the house and two black stun guns were found in one of his teenager's bedrooms. A previous hearing was told the £770,000 mansion was so well fortified, it took officers longer to gain entry. Details of other weapons and reinforced bulletproof glass at the home were withheld from the jury.
RAID: NCA and Irish Garda officers prepare to search the Tamworth mansion (NCA)
The court heard Kavanagh had a lengthy criminal record in the UK and Ireland for offences including possession of a firearm, making threats to kill, assault, breach of the peace and fraud. The court heard dad-of-six Kavanagh told officers he had found the stun gun on one of his kids, who got it on holiday, and confiscated it. Kavanagh, who gave no evidence in defence, will be sentenced in September and was bailed. Peter Bellis, lead investigator for the NCA, said: “These types of weapons are extremely dangerous and can cause serious injury or death. This is why they are prohibited in the UK. “Our wider investigation into money laundering, drugs and firearms supply continues.”