Victim mistaken for gang member had ‘heart of gold’

A young man who was mistaken for a gang member and stabbed to death in a field had a “heart of gold and a bright future”, his mother told a sentencing hearing for his killer at the Central Criminal Court yesterday.

Victim mistaken for gang member had ‘heart of gold’

Michael Kinsella, aged 24, of Swiftbrook Close, Tallaght, pleaded guilty last December to the manslaughter of Adil Essalhi, 29, who was killed on January 6, 2011.

Mr Essalhi suffered 50 stab and chop wounds before his killers tried to set fire to his body and then dumped it in a ditch in Tyrrelstown.

Justice Deirdre Murphy adjourned sentencing after hearing from Mr Essalhi’s mother Geraldine. “The events of January 6, 2011, have shattered our once care-free and unified family,” she said.

“Our precious Adil, a kind and loving man with a heart of gold and a bright future ahead of him, was taken so viciously from us.”

She said Adil had done nothing to cause his death, other than to trust people he should not have trusted.

Det Sgt Dan Callaghan of Blanchardstown Garda Station told Kerida Naidoo, prosecuting, that Michael Kinsella’s uncle, Wayne Kinsella, was convicted of murder for his part in Mr Essalhi’s death.

He said Wayne and Adil spent the day drinking in a pub before heading to a party at an apartment in Tallaght. Michael Kinsella was at the party and at some point, a suspicion arose Mr Essalhi had been involved in the murder of a member of the Kinsella family.

Wayne and Michael brought Mr Essalhi outside, telling him they were going to another party. When they reached a field near the apartment, they stabbed him to death with what state pathologist Professor Marie Cassidy said were weapons consistent with a knife and a machete.

Patrick Marrinan, defending, said reports submitted to the court showed that his client has been in detention centres for most of his life. He said that apart from his father, he had no positive influences and came from an “extremely difficult” family background. He said the State’s acceptance of his manslaughter plea showed that he did not have the necessary level of intent to be convicted of murder.

He pointed to a report which showed Michael Kinsella was afraid that if he did not take part in the killing, his uncle would attack him. He described Wayne Kinsella as an “extremely dangerous man” and said that his client has the intellectual ability of a nine to 12-year-old and is at high risk of being coerced by a more forceful individual.

Referring to interviews in the report, Mr Marrinan said that after his uncle stabbed Mr Essalhi a number of times Michael Kinsella told him he had had enough. His uncle told him to “do him or he was going to do me too”.

Justice Deirdre Murphy adjourned sentencing until April 25.

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