Life term for brush murder of retired soldier

A Limerick man has been sentenced to life imprisonment for murdering a retired soldier with a sweeping brush.

Life term for brush murder of retired soldier

Christopher McNamara, aged 21, of Good Shepherd Villas, Pennywell Rd in Limerick, had pleaded not guilty to the murder of James Boyce, aged 71, at St Munchin’s St, St Mary’s Park in Limerick between Mar 6 and Mar 7, 2011.

The court heard that Mr Boyce had been the victim of an assault with a long striking edge and that the fatal injuries were those on his neck, where multiple fractures of the larynx were found.

The two-week trial heard that McNamara had confessed killing Mr Boyce to his mother.

In a statement read to the jury by Micheál P O’Higgins SC, prosecuting, Pauline Whelan had asked the accused: “Did you do it son?” to which he replied: “I did, Mam”.

The statement then revealed that McNamara admitted he had choked Mr Boyce with the handle of a sweeping brush, demonstrating with his hands how he had done it.

The court heard that the mother of the accused had received a 42” television from McNamara the day after he killed Mr Boyce.

McNamara had also purchased a Toyota Corolla which he paid for with €1,100 in €50 notes believed to have been taken from Mr Boyce on the night of the murder.

The jury of five women and seven men was shown extensive CCTV footage tracing the movements of McNamara on that night.

Michael O’Higgins SC, defending, had asked earlier this week that the jury find his client not guilty of murder but guilty of manslaughter.

Describing the case as a most unpleasant one, Mr O’Higgins had asked that it be put into context, with evidence that Mr McNamara was out of his head on the night in question.

The jury came to a unanimous guilty verdict after an hour and a half deliberating.

The family of the deceased did not make any victim impact statement.

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