Killer living with deceased man’s widow and child

A man who admitted killing a 42-year-old man on Christmas Eve two years ago is living with the deceased’s widow and child, the Central Criminal Court has heard.

David Shanley, aged 47, of Courtown Harbour, Gorey, Co Wexford, pleaded not guilty to murder but guilty to manslaughter of John Lawlor on December 24 or 25, 2014, at Ballinatray Lower, Courtown Harbour, Gorey.

Last month, John O’Kelly, prosecuting, said the State accepted the plea of guilty to manslaughter. Patrick Gageby, defending, said there was a “complex inter-family relationship at play” in the case.

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

The prosecution called Detective Sergeant Murt Whelan from Enniscorthy Garda Station to give evidence yesterday.

Det Sgt Whelan told the court th at Shanley has been on High Court bail since he was initially charged with the offence in December 2014.

He said: “Mr Shanley was previously found to be in breach of his bail conditions which were issued by the High Court. The terms of bail was that he would reside at his parent’s 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 residing 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 relisted in the High Court and Shanley’s bail terms were varied.

“Mr Shanley was allowed reside at his partner’s to facilitate treatment but when she was an inpatient at the hospital he was to reside at his parents’ address. There was also sign-on conditions,” he said.

The court heard that Shanley is also living in close proximity to the deceased’s family, which “causes difficulties”.

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

The case was adjourned to Thursday.


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