Plastic bag killers are jailed for suffocating man in drunken fight
Two women who pleaded guilty to killing a man by suffocating him with a plastic bag have been sentenced to six years in prison.
Anna Marie Pezzillo (35), of no fixed abode, and Rachel Comiskey (35), of Dodsboro Cottages, Lucan, pleaded guilty to the manslaughter of Ian Quinn (32) at Annally Grove, Ongar, Dublin 15, between May 30 and 31, 2014.
Their pleas were accepted by the State on March 5, and Justice Patrick McCarthy sentenced them yesterday at the Central Criminal Court
He said the mitigating factors in the case were their guilty pleas and interviews they gave to gardai detailing what happened on the night Mr Quinn died.
The women told gardai they had been drinking heavily and taking drugs. A fight broke out and they put the bag over Mr Quinn's head to frighten him.
Justice McCarthy sentenced Pezzillo to eight years, with two suspended, and Comiskey to six years, with none suspended.
He said he was giving Pezzillo a longer sentence as she has 112 previous convictions and has shown "that over many years she was a person who had no respect at all for, or capacity to obey, the law".
The final two years of Pezzillo's sentence will be suspended on the condition that she abides by the directions of the Probation Service, abstains from illegal drugs and submits to any recommended drug treatment programme.
Both sentences were backdated to when the women first went into custody.
Before delivering his sentence, Justice McCarthy said the deceased had a relationship with Comiskey for about 12 years.
The judge added that Mr Quinn was a person who had advantages in life but he took a wrong turn at an early age, causing trouble for his family.
His lifestyle involved the use of drugs and alcohol and he lived on the streets or in homeless accommodation from time to time.
However, he added, his family's trauma at his death has not been diminished by the fact his life did not adhere to the standards they would have hoped for.
He noted that Pezzillo had 112 previous convictions while Comiskey had 12, all of which were dealt with at District Court level.
The judge said sentencing is not an exercise in vengeance and that the factors he must consider are the need to punish the offender, set a deterrent and provide for rehabilitation.
"People do not lose their humanity because they have committed a serious crime," he added.
He also said that the two-year suspension of Pezzillo's sentence would help her to be reintroduced into society.