Dublin man makes 'breath taking' application to withdraw guilty murder plea

A man has made a “breath-taking” application to withdraw his guilty plea for murdering a “mentally challenged” man, while his co-accused sister has been handed down a life sentence.
Dublin man makes 'breath taking' application to withdraw guilty murder plea

Sabrina Cummins, aged 37, of Ringsend Park, Dublin 4, had pleaded not guilty to murdering Thomas Horan, aged 63, at Cambridge Court, Ringsend, on January 6 last year. Last Tuesday, after five hours deliberating, a jury brought in a unanimous verdict of guilty at the Central Criminal Court.

Kenneth Cummins, aged 28, also of Ringsend Park, pleaded not guilty to the charge initially, but four weeks into the trial he changed his plea to guilty.

Giollaiosa Ó Lideadha, defending, yesterday told the judge he had been instructed to have his client’s plea of guilty vacated as he was not in a fit state to make the plea on November 11.

Mr Justice Tony Hunt asked Mr Ó Lideadha “where would they go from here” on the assumption that the application is successful.

Mr Ó Lideadha said if the plea was vacated, Mr Cummins would have to be put on trial again.

Remy Farrell, prosecuting, said this application was “breathtaking” and no more than “a stroke” by Mr Cummins. He said Mr Cummins wanted an opportunity to run the trial again without his co-accused, and he opposed it.

Mr Justice Hunt says it was a “remarkable application” in the circumstances, and Mr Cummins will be “pushing a rock up a hill but we will see where it goes”.

The court then proceeded with the sentence of Sabrina Cummins. She was handed a life sentence for the murder of Mr Horan, which was backdated to January 8, 2014.

The judge said he would hear the victim impact statement in case Mr Cummins is unsuccessful. The application for Mr Cummins will be dealt with on December 7.

Two victim impact statements were read to the court by Mr Farrell.

The first was from Margaret Horan, the ex-partner of Mr Horan. The court heard she is now in a nursing home, a place she feels she wouldn’t be if “Tommy” was still alive. Counsel also read how she “dreams” about him all the time.

Mr Farrell then read a victim impact statement by Mr Horan’s brother-in-law, Jim Muldoon.

The court heard Tom and Marge separated in 2000. They were never legally separated, but decided they no longer wanted to live together.

The court heard that Marge claimed that if herself and Tom were not separated, she felt Tom would still be alive today.

“She said she used to tell him not to answer the door after a particular time at night. Marge would be a bit more street-smart than Tom would have been. After Tom’s death, Marge did go into a state of depression, she wouldn’t eat or wash herself, she went to skin and bone,” he read.

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