Four-year term sought for man over stabbing death

A defence barrister asked for her client to be handed a sentence of no more than four years after he was convicted of stabbing a man to death during a row over a €100 debt.

Four-year term sought for man over stabbing death

William Gilsenan, aged 24, was found not guilty of murder but guilty of manslaughter in December for the killing of Edward Fitzgerald, 29, in a car park outside the killer’s home at The Green, Larch Hill, Oscar Traynor Road, Santry, Dublin 17.

At a sentencing hearing yesterday morning, Gilsenan told the court that he was ashamed of what he did. Addressing Justice Paul Butler he said he had destroyed a family and “would never live it down”. He added: “I’d like to apologise to the family but due to shame I wouldn’t be able to look them in their faces.”

Caroline Biggs, defending, said that her client was of previous good character and had no history of violence. She said the attack was out of character and that Gilsenan was going to college and “managing his life quite well” before the stabbing. She said there was evidence that Mr Fitzgerald provoked the attack by threatening Gilsenan and his family during a heated row before Gilsenan produced the knife.

Mr Justice Butler adjourned sentencing until next Thursday.

Mr Fitzgerald’s sister Nicola O’Dea read a statement prepared by the family. Ms O’Dea said she and her sister Lisa have to go on with their lives, for the sake of the younger members of the family, but their parents have struggled every day. “They have yet to sleep a night without medication since this happened,” she said. “My mam has since been prescribed anti-depressants, something she will take to get through each day for the rest of her life.” Edward had a big heart, she said, and was a “big softie”.

“He thought he knew it all and wouldn’t admit otherwise. He was a lovable character who liked to act the clown, had time for everyone, would never judge you and had a large circle of friends.”

She added: “It’s not just Edward’s death that has affected us, every time we hear on the news that someone has been stabbed, we think about that poor family, what they’re going through and what lies ahead of them.”

The court heard Gilsenan had one previous conviction for possession of drugs for sale or supply. He received a three-year sentence, suspended for three years, for that offence.

More in this section

Puzzles logo
IE-logo

Puzzles hub

Visit our brain gym where you will find simple and cryptic crosswords, sudoku puzzles and much more. Updated at midnight every day. PS ... We would love to hear your feedback on the section right HERE.

Puzzles logo
IE-logo

Puzzles hub

Visit our brain gym where you will find simple and cryptic crosswords, sudoku puzzles and much more. Updated at midnight every day. PS ... We would love to hear your feedback on the section right HERE.