Sentence reduced for Limerick killing

A 29 year-old man with a history of mental illness who stabbed a homeless alcoholic in Limerick had his 10-year jail sentence reduced by three years today.

A 29 year-old man with a history of mental illness who stabbed a homeless alcoholic in Limerick had his 10-year jail sentence reduced by three years today.

Anthony McMahon of Raheen Square, Ballinacurra Weston, Limerick, was convicted of the manslaughter of Mr Anthony O'Shea (aged 40) on September 29, 2001.

Today, the Court of Criminal Appeal reduced the 10-year prison sentence to seven years and Mr Justice Brian McCracken, presiding, said the court was satisfied that the trial judge had erred in not taking into account what was in effect a guilty plea to manslaughter.

The judge said ti was quite clear that McMahon was suffering from mental illness at the time of the killing. The sentence was backdated to September 2001.

During the trial, evidence was heard that Mr O'Shea was stabbed to death following a row on Denmark Street in Limerick.

The accused, who was suffering from schizophrenia, had been discharged from the acute psychiatric unit at the Mid Western Regional Hospital in Limerick just nine days before the fatal stabbing.

The court heard that Mr O'Shea was not a "wino" and he had suffered a very tragic experience when his sister died, which had caused him to abuse alcohol. Mr O'Shea has four children growing up in normal circumstances in society and they miss their father, the court heard.

The O'Shea family held no ill feeling towards the accused man and they wanted to thank the jury for their verdict, the court heard.

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