Monday 24 October 2016

Ex-soldier's eight-year sentence for killing our Marie is 'not enough'

Jimmy Devaney
Jimmy Devaney

The family of a woman who was killed by a retired Defence Forces member has lashed out at the eight-year sentence handed down at the Central Criminal Court.

The body of Marie Greene was found in a bog nine days after she went missing in 2011.

Ex-soldier Jimmy Devaney (67), of Millbrook Avenue, Monksland, Athlone, was acquitted of her murder but found guilty of manslaughter after a trial in July. Ms Justice Margaret Hene-ghan yesterday imposed an eight-year custodial sentence on Devaney.

Speaking outside court, the victim's sister, Theresa, said Devaney "should have got more" and that she hoped he "died in prison".


"We will never see our sister again. It is hard on us but harder on my poor mother," she said.

"We don't accept the apology from him or his family.

"Marie was a human being at the end of the day. My mother is not well since then and worse she is getting."

Ms Greene's mother, Winnie, also spoke outside court.

"Twenty one days after Marie died, my son died so I lost two of them together and that is very hard. I hope Devaney gets it very hard in prison," she said.

Father-of-three Devaney had pleaded not guilty to murdering Ms Greene in Westmeath on February 13, 2011.

A jury of six women and five men returned a unanimous verdict of not guilty of murder but guilty of manslaughter.

The court heard that Ms Greene, who was working as a prostitute, was last seen alive on the evening on February 13, 2011 and her body was discovered nine days later in Anagorta Bog outside Athlone.

Judge Heneghan said the case merited a custodial sentence of 11 years, but she imposed and backdated this to last July 30, the day the jury returned their verdict.

She said the court had the benefit of hearing a victim impact statement that was read by Ms Greene's nephew on November 2 and revealed "a heartbroken family living a nightmare that no family should have to endure".

The judge said that aggravating factors in the crime included the use of a knife, the number of wounds, the attempts to cover up the evidence, attempts to have CCTV destroyed and the initial lack of cooperation by Devaney.

"The mitigating factors were the early plea to manslaughter, the apology which I accept as being genuine, the cooperation with gardai, the information provided to officers on the location of the body, the unlikelihood of Devaney re-offending and his previous good character," she said.

During the trial, the court heard from State Pathologist Prof Marie Cassidy who said Ms Greene had suffered six stab wounds to the trunk. There were multiple incise wounds to the head and neck.

She confirmed under cross-examination by Devaney's lawyer, Giollaiosa O Lideadha, that some of the stab wounds could have been part of a continuous attack that continued after death.

It was the State's case that Devaney murdered Marie Greene because she had been blackmailing him for money.


He told gardai in an interview that he stabbed her several times because he lost control, but said that she had brought the knife to the scene.

Devaney said she had blackmailed him for up to 15 years and that he had given her up to €40,000 and €20,000 in the previous six months.

He told gardai he met her and drove out to Anagorta Bog near Ballykieran to talk to her, but she was threatening to get her brothers after him.

Devaney told gardai he lost control during a struggle and "just kept stabbing" her.

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