Father’s faith in justice restored as DPP appeals killer’s sentence

A LIMERICK man’s faith in the justice system has been restored following the decision to appeal the sentence given to one of his son’s killers.

Heartbroken Thomas Moloney of Cosgrave Park, Moyross, wrote to the Director of Public Prosecutions after two men who were found guilty of the manslaughter of his son, Thomas Jnr, were sentenced to three and five years in jail.

William McDonnell, aged 39, of Mary Aikenhead House, Dublin, was sentenced to five years for the attack on 27-year-old Thomas at Usher’s Quay in Dublin on April 21, 2002.

A second man, 43-year-old Francis Kenny of Basin Street, Dublin, who pleaded guilty to manslaughter, was sentenced to three years.

In his letter, Mr Moloney told the DPP that his family was “shattered by the leniency of those sentences”.

Referring to evidence in the trial, Mr Moloney told the DPP that a witness to the fatal attack saw McDonnell “battering our son’s head against the footpath repeatedly and inviting Kenny to kick him around the head”.

“There was some evidence that our son provoked the trouble by arguing with McDonnell, but surely the violence used by McDonnell and Kenny was not only excessive but grotesque,” Mr Moloney wrote. “The lenient sentences seem to be an indication to any potentially violent criminal that they can use the most grossly excessive force in response to the slightest provocation.”

Having penned the letter just three weeks ago, the DPP has written back to Mr Moloney to say he will be “seeking a review of the sentence imposed on William McDonnell on grounds of undue leniency”.

Commenting on the decision, Mr Moloney said: “It is very good news. It has restored my faith that there is justice, if you keep after it.”

The DPP will not be taking action on the three-year sentence imposed on Francis Kenny.

“I was disappointed about that at first but when I thought about, McDonnell put us through the terrible ordeal of a trial while Kenny did plead guilty,” said Mr Moloney.

Thomas Jnr’s death was the second tragedy in the Moloney family. Another son was killed in a hit-and-run accident near his home in 1995 for which noone was ever convicted.

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