A Glasgow man who was found guilty of the manslaughter of a man in Galway last year will be sentenced later this month.
Patrick Doherty (aged 46), a father of two and native of Glasgow, with an address at Cloncoon West, Glenamaddy, Co Galway was convicted by a jury at the Central Criminal Court in Galway last July of the manslaughter of Mr Frank Fahy (aged 20) of O' Keefe Park, Glenamaddy in the early hours of December 15, 2008.
The jury of seven men and five women reached their 10 - 2 majorty verdict of not guilty of murder but guilty of manslaughter after a six-day trial.
Mr Fahy died from a single stab wound to the back.
Detective Sergeant Michael O’Driscoll, Tuam, today told the Central Criminal Court that Doherty, a native of Glasgow, was drinking in the same pub as the victim, his friend Gerald Costello and their girlfriends on the night of the killing.
At closing time, Doherty drove home, got a kitchen knife with an eight-inch blade attached and returned to where Mr Fahy and Mr Costello were waiting for a taxi home.
An altercation followed during which Mr Fahy was stabbed once, just below the shoulder blade. Gerald Costello suffered a number of stab wounds.
The court heard how the victim’s father, John Joe Fahy, drove them to the hospital but that his son was pronounced dead at 2.30am having suffered “catastrophic blood loss”.
Detective Sergeant O’Driscoll said the owner of the pub took the knife from Doherty who then demanded to be served more alcohol.
Doherty returned home where he was later arrested by gardaí. During questioning he told investigating officers that he had no recollection of returning home to get the knife or of stabbing anyone, but he accepted he had done so.
Doherty alleged he was provoked by Gerald Costello.
Reading a victim impact statement to the court today, Frank’s father John Joe Fahy said their lives “changed forever” on December 15, 2008 because of the sudden, brutal and violent way in which their son was taken from them.
Mr Fahy senior recalled breaking the news of his son’s death to the rest of the family as “the hardest thing” he ever had to do. He said the scene in the family home that night was one which would never leave him, and that they are “haunted everyday” by Frank’s death. Some days, he said, the grief they feel is “too much to bare”.
Mr Fahy described his son as a caring, sensitive and loving man who was looking forward to Christmas. He had only moved out of the family home in the week prior to his death and would have celebrated his 21st birthday this year.
Mr Fahy said he and his wife were not the first parents to lose a child in such a violent way, but he said he hoped they would be the last.
Michael Delaney SC, prosecuting, read a statement to the court on behalf of Gerald Costello who was also stabbed during the incident.
Mr Costello said he still has the scarring from the wounds inflicted on him, and that mentally the incident has had a “serious effect” on him. He said “never a day goes by” that he does not think of the “enormous loss suffered by Frank’s death”.
He said Glennamaddy was once a place to meet friends and neighbours, but now he considered it to be a “town of horror”.
Counsel for the defence, Bernard Madden SC, said his client Patrick Doherty, had a long history of alcohol abuse but that he was now taking steps to address this problem.
He said although Doherty has a number of previous convictions, including one for the assault of two gardaí, these were not as serious as the one now before the court.
He said since his arrest, Doherty has co-operated fully with the garda investigation into the case, and that he was deeply remorseful for his actions.
Mr Madden said his client was also troubled by the shame the incident had brought on his partner and his two teenage daughters.
Doherty will be sentenced for the killing on November 25 next.