A 40-year-old man has been convicted of murdering a Polish man in Co Clare last year.
Michael Maughan, aged 40, of Stone Court, Ennis, had pleaded not guilty to murder but guilty to the manslaughter of Piotr Nowakowski, aged 31, at Sandfield Mews, Ennis, on July 23, 2013.
The Central Criminal Court was told that the manslaughter plea was not acceptable to the prosecution and a jury was sworn in for the one-week trial.
Maughan had also pleaded not guilty to assaulting Declan O’Dea at the same address on the same date.
Yesterday, the jury of seven men and five women found him guilty on both counts by unanimous decision after two hours and 23 minutes.
Mr Justice Paul Carney handed down the mandatory life sentence for the murder to run concurrently with four years for the assault. He backdated both sentences to July 24, 2013, for time spent in custody.
Mr Nowakowski was stabbed twice and died in an ambulance on the way to Shannon Airport, from where he was to be airlifted to hospital in Cork.
The court heard that Maughan and his brother had been drinking with the men in the apartment in the Sandfield complex earlier that day and returned there that night.
He told gardaí he was angry when he was not allowed in. He said he lifted his brother in through a window so he could let him in the front door.
Maughan told gardaí that he went into the bedroom where Mr O’Dea and Mr Nowakowski were asleep.
After Mr Nowakowski followed him into to the kitchen, he got paranoid and grabbed a carving knife from the counter. He told gardaí he “just went berserk” and he stabbed him twice in the side.
Deputy State Pathologist Michael Curtis carried out an autopsy on July 23, 2013. He told the court the deceased received several blows and was stabbed before receiving a further kick to the head. His right lung was collapsed.
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