Teenager starts life sentence for Cork murder

A teenager who choked a Cork girl to death has begun a life sentence after being found guilty of murder at the Central Criminal Court.

A teenager who choked a Cork girl to death has begun a life sentence after being found guilty of murder at the Central Criminal Court.

19-year-old Jonathon Kepple, of Deptford in London, admitted killing 17-year-old Rachel Sandyman at Mahon in Cork on February 5th 2000.

During the seven-day trial, the court heard that Rachel Sandyman had accused Kepple of being a bad father to his two children in England.

He repeatedly punched her then squeezed her neck until she had stopped breathing.

He had told gardai he had taken two Ecstasy tablets and had a lot to drink, "I just lost it", he said.

Kepple's legal team had argued that he had been suffering from undiagnosed brain damage at the time.

Consultant psychiatrist Dr Brian McCaffrey told the trial he believed Kepple suffered from frontal lobe brain damage after he was hit by a car when he was six years old.

He said it left him prone to violent outbursts and with a poor understanding of his own behaviour. Members of the Sandyman family wept and hugged each other as the verdict as returned.

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