independent

Friday 23 August 2019

Guilty of murder

GUILTY OF KILLING WEXFORD NATIVE

A MANDATORY life sentence is to be imposed next month on a man found guilty of the murder of a Wexford native in 2009.

Anthony Farrell (20) from Arklow stabbed father-oftwo John Deasy to death during a botched robbery at Mr Deasy's shop in the County Wicklow town on November 25 that year. A jury at the Central Criminal Court last week convicted him of murder after a fiveday trial. THE MAN who killed Wexford native John Deasy at his shop in Arklow in 2009 will be given a mandatory life sentence on May 20.

Anthony Farrell ( 20), pictured right, of 26 Marian Villas in Arklow was convicted of murder by a unanimous jury following a five-day trial at the Central Criminal Court. He had denied murdering the father-of-two at Brauders' Shop on the Coolgreaney Road in Arklow on November 25, 2009.

Farrell pleaded guilty, however, to robbing €50 and admitted that he had stabbed the 44-year-old as a means of escape.

Mr Deasy collapsed and died in the doorway of the newsagents within minutes of being stabbed.

The knife had gone in to a depth of 10cm, severing his aorta, and causing his lungs to fill with blood and causing substantial blood loss.

There was no noticeable reaction from Farrell or members of the Deasy family as the unanimous guilty verdict was returned, after almost four hours of deliberations by the jury.

Outside the courtroom, Mr Deasy's ex-wife and his two daughters embraced and broke down in tears.

Farrell was arrested two days after the murder, after gardaí discovered a bloodstained knife and a balaclava in his garden shed. He initially denied his involvement, but during his third interview admitted that he had knifed the shop owner as he fled from the store.

'I hit him with force, I did hit him with force' he told gardaí. He also expressed remorse for the killing, but said ' the only way to get out was to force him away.'

The three verdicts of murder, manslaughter and a acquittal had been open to the jury. In charging them, Mr Justice Paul Butler referred to the fact that the issue of selfdefence had been raised by Farrell's defence team, but cautioned them that if they were of the view Farrell had stabbed Mr Deasy in order to escape and not to protect himself, then self-defence did not arise.

Senior counsel for the prosecution Úna Ní Raifeartaigh, had described the killing as a 'means to an end' for Farrell.

She said he had ' hastily but definitively' decided to stab Mr Deasy 'so he plunged the knife into his chest... as a means to an end, not because he bore Mr Deasy a grudge or illwill, but because he was getting in the way'.

Farrell will be handed down the mandatory life sentence on May 20 when victim impact statements will also be heard.

Mr Justice Butler will also sentence him on a second count of robbery, which Farrell pleaded guilty to at the outset of the trial.

Mr Deasy's family said they did not wish to comment until after the sentencing hearing.

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