Women jailed for killing man, 60, at party

Two women have been jailed for four years for killing a grandfather at a party in Waterford last year.

Johanna Kelly, aged 40, and Michelle Hynes, aged 41, both of no fixed abode, had pleaded guilty to the manslaughter of Joe O’Brien.

A third person, Patrick Keating, is serving a life sentence for murdering the 60-year-old at an apartment on William St in the city on Apr 23, 2012.

Mr Justice Patrick McCarthy sentenced both women to six years in prison with the last two suspended. He said both women must undergo two years’ post-release supervision and he was “deeply sensitive to the fact that the family of the deceased had greatly suffered”.

The judge said the victim impact report made for “very sad reading indeed”.

“One can only begin to imagine the extent of the sadness that this death and crime occasioned for this family,” he said.

Detective Garda David Butler told the court that five people were drinking alcohol in the apartment.

The occupant of the apartment was a friend of the deceased. While in the bathroom, he heard three thumps. He returned to see Mr O’Brien lying on the floor and Keating striking him with a dumbbell, the court heard.

“Johanna Kelly and Michelle Hynes joined in, kicking him while he was defenceless on the ground. Both were equally aggressive,” the detective told the court. “Both kicked him all over the body, but not the head. They were both shouting at Joe and were very abusive,” he added.

Det Gda Butler said one suggested cause of the assault was that Mr O’Brien made reference to oral sex.


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