A Cavan man who was found guilty of the murder of a 33-year-old father-of-one has been sentenced to life in prison in the Central Criminal Court today.
Trevor McCabe (aged 35), of Mountpleasant, Ballyconnell, Co Cavan, had pleaded not guilty to murdering Darren McGrath (aged 33), in Belturbet, Co Cavan, on May 20, 2008.
Last week, the accused was found guilty of the murder of Mr McGrath by a jury of eight women and four men, who reached their majority verdict of 10-2 after almost eight hours of deliberation.
It was the prosecution’s case that Mr McCabe shot Mr McGrath as he slept in bed beside his fiancé.
They said Mr McCabe entered the house with a shotgun at approximately 5am, shot Mr McGrath twice in the head, and then drove away.
During the 10-day trial, the court heard McCabe had been tried for the murder of Darren McGrath in July 2009, but the jury had failed to reach a verdict and a retrial was ordered.
Superintendent Gerrard Curley said Mr McCabe had seven previous convictions in this jurisdiction, dating from 1992, in relation to drug and theft related offences.
In November 2000, Mr McCabe was convicted in England of wounding with intent and possession of an imitation firearm as well as two counts of burglary and theft and was sentenced to four years imprisonment.
In a victim impact statement read out to the court, Nicole Lennon, the fiancé of the deceased and mother of his child, described Mr McCabe as ‘’a cold callous man’’ for what he had done.
She said: "Words cannot describe the pain I’m going through since this man took my fiancé away from me."
"He has left me terrified, constantly looking over my shoulder. I can’t even live on my own and get on with my life and my daughter’s."
Ms Lennon said she was relived justice had been done and relived to know Mr McCabe "cannot ruin anymore lives and families".
Margret McGrath, mother of the deceased, told the court Mr McCabe had robbed her family of a son, a brother and a father.
She said: "So many people knew Darren as ‘sound’, the nickname fitted him perfectly. We shall live in hope that the future without Darren will get somewhat better."
In handing down sentence, Mr Justice Barry White said the jury "had rightly convicted" Mr McCabe of the murder of Darren McGrath.
He said; "The law requires I sentence you to life imprisonment and that is the sentence I impose."
Mr McCabe has been in custody in relation to the murder of Darren McGrath since May 31, 2008, and his sentence was backdated to that date.