Man jailed for murder seeks to appeal conviction

 Brendan O'Sullivan: Found guilty of murder in 2010.

A man jailed for life for the murder of his neighbour is seeking to bring an appeal against his conviction to the Supreme Court on the grounds legal issues of exceptional public importance are involved.

Brendan O’Sullivan was jailed in 2010 after a jury found him guilty of the murder of Leslie Kenny, aged 27, who was shot by O’Sullivan in the garden of O’Sullivan’s home at O’Gorman St, Kilrush, Co Clare, on Jul 29, 2009.

O’Sullivan appealed his conviction on grounds including the trial judge failed to properly explain the law relating to manslaughter and self-defence but the Court of Criminal Appeal rejected those claims.

The court said the “outstanding fact” was that the case involved an unarmed man being shot four times with a shotgun.

Yesterday, Michael O’Higgins, counsel for O’Sullivan, asked the appeal court to have his appeal referred to the Supreme Court on grounds it raised a point of law of exceptional public importance.

That point is whether, when self defence is raised as a defence to murder, a trial judge must inform the jury that, if they conclude an accused employed more force than reasonably necessary but no more force than the accused honestly believed to be necessary, the jury should find the accused guilty of manslaughter.

In opposing the application to certify the point of law for determination by the Supreme Court, the DPP argued no point of exceptional public importance had been raised.

The Court of Criminal Appeal comprising Mr Justice Nial Fennelly, presiding, and sitting with Mr Justice Daniel Herbert and Mr Justice George Birmingham, said the court would give its ruling before Christmas.


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