Saturday 26 May 2018

Killer is living with the wife and daughter of his victim

David Shanley Photo: AP
David Shanley Photo: AP

A man who admitted killing another is living with the victim's widow and child, the Central Criminal Court has heard.

David Shanley (47), of Courtown Harbour, Gorey, Co Wexford, pleaded not guilty to murder but guilty to the manslaughter of John Lawlor (48) on December 24 or 25, 2013 at Ballinatray Lower, Courtown Harbour.

Counsel for the prosecution John O'Kelly said last month that the plea of guilty to manslaughter was accepted.

Patrick Gageby, for Shanley, added at the time that there was a "complex inter-family relationship at play" in the case.

When Shanley pleaded guilty six weeks ago, it was agreed he would be allowed to remain on continuing bail until yesterday, when a probation report would be produced. However, the court heard the probation officer had not finished his report, so sentencing was deferred.

Det Sgt Murt Whelan said Shanley has been on bail from the High Court since he was initially charged with the offence.

"Mr Shanley was previously found to be in breach of his bail conditions, which were issued by the High Court," he said.

"The terms of bail was that he would reside at his parents' address, but I became aware that he was residing at the address of his partner, which was outside Gorey in Co Wexford."


The court heard that Shanley's current partner is the deceased's widow. Also staying in the house is the deceased's daughter.

Det Sgt Whelan said the matter was "complicated" as Shanley's partner is receiving ongoing treatment in hospital.

Shanley is a carer for his partner who has "serious health problems".

Det Sgt Whelan told the court that the case was then re-listed in the High Court and Shanley's bail terms were varied.

"Mr Shanley was allowed to reside at his partner's to facilitate treatment, but when she was an in-patient at the hospital he was to reside at his parents' address. There were also sign-on conditions," he said.

The court heard Shanley is living close to Mr Lawlor's family, which "causes difficulties".

Mr Gageby said his client had no previous convictions and he accepted this was a case which "had to go one way as there had been a loss of life".

Mr Lawlor's family were "anxious" that the matter would be dealt with because the accused was living in the same village in Co Wexford as them.

Mr Justice Paul Butler said Shanley had been convicted of the unlawful killing of another human being and it seemed to him that he was entitled to the benefit of a probation report.

He said he was not happy about Shanley's bail conditions but did not want to interfere with the bail judge.

The matter was adjourned until Thursday.

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