Judge says deaf killer may avoid prison term

A homeless man who killed an acquaintance by knocking him under a Dublin Bus in the city centre a year-and-a-half ago may avoid a jail term.

Last month a Dublin Circuit Criminal Court jury found Edward Connors, aged 30, guilty following an eight-day manslaughter trial. Yesterday morning, he also admitted injuring, threatening, or intimidating two people with a syringe in separate incidents.

Eoghan Dudley, 28, died almost instantly from “catastrophic and traumatic injuries” after going under the left rear wheel of the bus on Dawson St during rush-hour traffic. Both men were heroin users at the time and both had the drug in their system at the time of the death.

The victim’s injuries were so severe that he could not be identified. Gardaí had to issue a public appeal and use a DNA test to find out who he was.

Judge Patrick McCartan remanded Connors in custody for sentence on October 7. He said he doesn’t propose to send Connors to prison if it can be avoided because of the lack of facilities there for deaf people. He said he hoped the Dudley family could appreciate his dilemma.

He said the incident was as close to an accident as can be by law. Referring to Connors’ background, the judge said: “It’s hard to conceive someone who has come from tougher circumstances.”

He described the prison conditions as “unacceptable” and said he was duty bound to inquire into alternatives given the “unique circumstances” of the case.

He put the matter back for a Probation Service report, but said that if there were no alternatives then he would have to protect the community and impose a prison sentence.

Connors, of no fixed abode and formerly of Bearna Park, Sandyford, had pleaded not guilty to unlawfully killing Mr Dudley on December 6, 2012.

Connors also pleaded guilty to two counts of using a syringe to cause injury or threaten to cause injury at Balally Shopping Centre, Sandyford on May 17, 2012 and at Lotts Lane on August 18, 2012. He will be sentenced for these offences on July 4.

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