A 21-year-old Dublin man was today convicted of the manslaughter of a young electronic technician who was randomly stabbed as he stood outside a house in a north Dublin suburb in 2001.
After four hours deliberating their verdict at the Central Criminal Court, the jury of five women and seven men found Stephen Kelly of Westpark, Artane, Dublin not guilty of murder but guilty of the manslaughter of Jonathan Guy, aged 21, of Belcamp Crescent, Priorswood outside a house at Newgrove Estate, Donaghmede, Dublin in March 2001.
Mr Guy spent a week in Beaumont Hospital after suffering the fatal wound to his chest, which penetrated his heart and lungs. His condition deteriorated and he died as a result of his injuries on March 11.
The accused sat with his head down and cried as the guilty verdict was delivered.
Mr Guy’s parents Sheila and John had sat through the 13-day trial and were in court today to hear the verdict.
The victim was a graduate of Dundalk Institute of Technology and was working in a computer company on Dublin’s northside when he was killed.
During the trial there was disputed evidence over whether or not Mr Guy was the unfortunate victim as an innocent bystander to a row outside a house party or if he had come to the house with a friend, Peter Gallagher, looking for trouble.
Kelly first told the gardai that he had been hit when he left the house and swung the knife as a second fellow came at him.
But in a second statement made after Mr Guy had passed away he admitted that Mr Guy was, in fact, unarmed.
The evidence of Ms Jennifer O’Hara, aged 17, brought into question whether or not Mr Guy was holding a weapon of some sort as he stood in the driveway.
It was Ms O’Hara who had invited friends, including Kelly, to the house on the fatal night. She had been put out of her own house for taking ecstasy, and was left in charge of another house where she had the party.
The Deputy State Pathologist gave evidence that the deceased died on March 11 as a result of the stab wound to his chest. Attempts to save his life were unsuccessful due to massive blood loss, which rendered him brain dead and caused cardiac arrest.
She said the stab wound had entered the chest cavity at a "downward angle", but said a number of variables would have to be taken into account to say what the "true angle" was.
Mr Kelly was remanded in custody for sentencing on February 18. Mr Justice White said the victim’s mother will then have the opportunity "to give evidence as to how this killing of her son is affecting her and her family".
He thanked the jury for their service and released them from jury service for 10 years.