There were angry and violent scenes yesterday when a man was found not guilty of murder but guilty of manslaughter at the Central Criminal Court.
Terence ‘Terry’ Connors, aged 42, of Drumcairn Avenue, Tallaght, Dublin 24, had pleaded not guilty to murder but guilty to the manslaughter of Peter Conroy, 25, at Palmerstown Lodge B&B, Kennelsfort Rd Lower, Palmerstown, Dublin 20, on June 9, 2015.
His plea was not accepted by the prosecution and when the jury returned their verdict, family and friends of the deceased began shouting and surged towards Connors, who stood with his head bowed. Prison officers and gardaí wearing stab vests held the group back.
One woman shouted: “He stabbed four people and he’s getting done for manslaughter.” There were shouts of “that’s fucking murder” as gardaí tried to remove people from the court. The angry scenes continued in the lobby of the court and on to Parkgate St.
The jury had spent more than five hours considering the verdict and arrived at the verdict by a majority of 10-2.
The jury found Connors guilty by unanimous verdict of a second count of assaulting Elaine Blunt on the same occasion and date.
Mr Justice Paul Butler adjourned the case for mention on January 17.
During the one-week trial, the jury heard Mr Conroy died after suffering knife injuries to the head and neck. Professor Marie Cassidy, the State pathologist, said the fatal wound severed a vein, causing him to die from bleeding and shock.
The prosecution relied on CCTV footage and the statement of one witness, Ms Blunt, who said she saw Connors stab Mr Conroy.
CCTV showed a row involving two women and several men that began in the B&B at about 3.30am. Most of those involved, including the accused but not the deceased, had been at a wedding reception in Stillorgan that day.
Connors arrived home after midnight and went to bed. He told gardaí he woke to hear his children “roaring and shouting”, calling out for him. He said a fight had erupted downstairs and he grabbed a knife before rushing down. His partner, Brigid Connors, was in a fight with Ms Blunt when Connors came down. He kicked Ms Blunt and was found guilty of assault for this.
The fight between the women continued, with a man trying to separate them. He opened the front door of the B&B to put them outside and a group of other men entered, leading to a fight involving the deceased and two associates against people living at the B&B.
When one of the men threw a naggin at Connors or his son beside him, Connors produced the knife and launched the fatal attack.
Garnet Orange, defending, told the jury his client was defending his family and should be acquitted of the murder charge.
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