herald

Friday 23 June 2017

Innocent schoolboy was shot dead after girl (15) made a false rape claim

A MAN and his former girlfriend have been convicted of the manslaughter of an innocent Nigerian youth who was shot dead following a false rape claim.

A court heard the man drew up a plan to attack the teen and contacted a gunman, who carried out the shooting. The gunman remains at large.

Joseph Sullivan (26) was yesterday jailed for seven years for the manslaughter of Sumbo Owoiya (18) at The Court, Dunboyne Castle, Dunboyne, Co Meath, on August 3, 2007.

Sullivan's then girlfriend, Carol Craig (18), Palmerstown Woods, Clondalkin, Dublin, and also St James Drive, Tomhaggard, Co Wexford, received a suspended sentence after pleading guilty to manslaughter.

At Trim Circuit Court yesterday, Judge Michael O'Shea said Sullivan had "outrageously over-reacted" when he heard Craig had complained of being raped.

She claimed the rape took place on July 20 at the apartment where Mr Owoiya had lived with his family.

Garda Superintendent Charles Devine told the court the deceased "had absolutely no connection" with the assault. Craig later withdrew her statement of complaint.



Hiding

When Craig told Sullivan she was raped, he made contact with a third party. Sullivan told gardai he went to this man for help to "sort out" the person responsible. Sullivan drove Craig to to meet this man.

When defence counsel Mark de Blacam suggested that Sullivan had intended that the culprits "get a hiding", the garda replied, "I think that's a fair conclusion".

The court heard that after picking up the man -- who was armed -- Sullivan and Craig drove to the apartment. Craig waited in the car, while Sullivan and the gunman went Mr Owoiya's apartment.

John Aylmer, prosecuting counsel, said it appeared the young man had been looking through the peep-hole in the door when the shot was fired. It hit his stomach and lodged in his spine. He died a short time later.

Gardai became suspicious of Craig and Sullivan because on July 20, she made a complaint that she had been raped.

It later emerged that one of the victim's friends was going out with one of Craig's friends, and that was how Craig came to be in the apartment on July 20.

Sullivan wrote an apology to the dead man's family and said he would live with what had happened on his conscience for the rest of his life.

At the time, Craig was 15 and Judge O'Shea was told she had tried to dissuade the men from going to the apartment. She only saw the gun when they were in the car.

He said Sullivan had made contact with the other man and was dominant in the "plotting and planning".

He imposed a three-and-a-half-year sentence on Craig, which he suspended on her entering into a bond of good behaviour for four years.

jlast@herald.ie

Promoted articles

Entertainment News