herald

Tuesday 24 October 2017

Killer who knifed man to death over €100 tells of shame

Gilsenan told the court he would never live down the killing Picture: Collins
Gilsenan told the court he would never live down the killing Picture: Collins

A barrister has asked for her client to be given no more than four years in jail for stabbing a man to death over a €100 debt.

William Gilsenan (24) was found not guilty in December of the murder of 29-year-old Edward Fitzgerald.

He was, however, found guilty of manslaughter.

Mr Fitzgerald was killed in a car park outside Gilsenan's home in Traynor Road, Santry, in October 2014.

At his trial in December, the jury heard that Gilsenan owed Mr Fitzgerald €100.

Witnesses Dillon Mahady and Charles Brodigan said it was a drug debt, but in interviews with gardai, Gilsenan said the debt was for cash.

At a sentencing hearing yesterday, Gilsenan told the Central Criminal Court that he was ashamed of what he did. He told Mr Justice Paul Butler that he had destroyed a family and "would never live it down".

Caroline Biggs, defending, said the attack was out of character and that Gilsenan was going to college and "managing his life quite well" before the stabbing.

She said there was evidence that Mr Fitzgerald provoked the attack by threatening Gilsenan and his family during a row.

Rejected

Outlining the mitigating factors in the case, she said her client had offered to plead guilty to manslaughter, but that plea was rejected by the State.

She said Gilsenan accepted he will be given a prison sentence, but asked that it be placed on the lower end of the scale at no more than four years.

Justice Butler adjourned sentencing until next Thursday.

Mr Fitzgerald's sister, Nicola O'Dea, read a statement prepared by the family.

"She said she and her sister, Lisa, have to go on with their lives for the sake of the younger members of the family, but their parents have struggled every day.

"Edward had a big heart," she said. "He was a big softy.

"He was a lovable character who liked to act the clown, had time for everyone, would never judge you and had a large circle of friends.

"It's not just Edward's death that has affected us. Every time we hear that someone has been stabbed, we think about that poor family, what they're going through and what lies ahead of them."

Gda Sgt Aidan Delaney said Gilsenan had one previous conviction for possession of drugs for sale or supply, for which he had been given a three-year suspended jail sentence.

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