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Saturday 19 October 2019

Life in jail for pals who murdered man in stab frenzy 'over few tablets'

Stephen Tynan murdered his cousin Andrew Guerrine
Stephen Tynan murdered his cousin Andrew Guerrine

Two Dubliners have been sentenced to life for murdering the cousin of one of them "over a few tablets", before dumping his body on a roadside.

Father-of-one Andrew Guerrine was stabbed 20 times, including through his skull and spine.

Mr Guerrine's sister said he had "to his detriment" trusted his cousin and his cousin's friend, who then laughed and joked throughout their five-week murder trial.

Her victim impact statement was read to the Central Criminal Court at their sentence hearing yesterday.

Stephen Tynan (41), a father-of-two, of Deerpark Lodge, Kiltipper, Tallaght, and Raymond Fitzgerald (37), of Knockmore Grove, Killinarden, Tallaght, had both denied murdering Mr Guerrine, Tynan's cousin, at an unknown place between May 22 and May 23, 2015.

Body

The trial heard that his body was found in the early hours of May 23 in Steelstown Lane, Rathcoole, 10km from where he was last seen alive in Tallaght.

Mr Guerrine, who was from New Street in the city, had gone to Tallaght to sell tablets.

The defendants were connected to the murder through a car, CCTV and mobile phone records. The evidence was circumstantial, but a jury found them guilty by majority verdict last month.

Brendan Grehan SC, prosecuting, yesterday read out a victim impact statement prepared by Mr Guerrine's sister, Edel.

She said the family had hoped that the defendants "would have done the right thing and pleaded guilty" but they had never admitted what they had done.

She said her brother had lived a life of which his family had disapproved but, regrettably, he would not listen to them.

"We now have to live with the constant questions running through our heads: Could we have done more? What if we had done this? What if we had done that?" she added.

Ms Guerrine said there was another side to her brother.

"The person he really was at home away from the life of drugs was that of a loving father, who worshipped the ground his daughter walked on," she said.

"He was not cut out for the life he lived. He was not in any way violent, malicious or could under any circumstances commit the crime these two defendants did."

She said he had a big heart and was the definition of a "gentle giant".

"Andrew was, perhaps, too trusting and trusted the defendants to his detriment," she said.

"We have had to read some gruesome details of the injuries Andrew received from the defendants.

"We have seen the site in Steelstown Lane, plastered in newspapers and news outlets, where the defendants left Andrew on the side of the road, miles away from home, alone in the dark, hoping he wouldn't be found, and drove off like they were dumping rubbish.

"This hurt, distrust, anger and absolute hell will stay with us for the rest of our lives."

Ms Guerrine described seeing her brother in the morgue, his eyes open, looking scared and helpless.

"I have to see that image nightly when I close my eyes," she said.

Laugh

She said the family had had to sit in court looking at those responsible "laugh, joke and show absolutely no remorse".

She told how Tynan had arrived at their aunt's funeral "hours after inflicting those horrific injuries to Andrew".

She said he walked up to her father, hugged him and told him he was sorry for his loss. "What kind of person can do this?" she asked.

She said the family had celebrated her brother's 40th birthday this year, but couldn't answer his five-year-old nephew's question about why they couldn't go and get his uncle.

"How do we explain that these defendants thought your uncle's life was only valued at a few tablets that they didn't want to pay for?" she asked.

Mr Justice Michael White expressed his condolences to the Guerrine family, and described the statement as "very noble".

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