A pub bouncer who left his employer to die on the floor of a toilet after a violent robbery has been sentenced on appeal to a reduced sentence of one year from nine years’ imprisonment for manslaughter.
arian Lingurar Jnr was 16 when landlord John Kenny (56) was badly beaten by a gang of men, tied up and left alone to die on the floor of the ladies’ toilet at his public house, Kenny’s Pub in Oughterard, Co. Galway 25 September 2011.
Lingurar Jnr had worked as a bouncer at the pub for a week before the fatal attack and planned to rob Mr Kenny of his takings when the accused returned to the premises after hours to let his gangmates in.
He was later sentenced to nine years after being convicted of manslaughter by a jury at Galway Criminal Court in January 2019.
Lingurar Jnr, who “was physically mature beyond his years,” took no part in Mr Kenny’s restraint or attack.
During the attack, Mr. Kenny sustained serious injuries to his upper body from being struck by a heavy object and from being kicked and punched. His hands were tied behind his back and a jacket was wrapped tightly around his face and head.
His wife Kathleen and the couple’s daughter Gillian discovered his body the following evening.
Lingurar Jnr, who is now 27, later appealed the harshness of the sentence because the trial judge failed to take adequate account of his age at the time of the offence.
In a judgment delivered today by the President of the Court of Appeal, Mr Justice George Birmingham, along with Mr Justice Patrick McCarthy and Ms Justice Isobel Kennedy, the judgment handed down by Judge Rory McCabe in May 2019 was overturned.
Noting that the applicant was “physically mature beyond his years” and that this maturity helped him find employment as a bouncer, Judge Birmingham also acknowledged that Judge McCabe “was alive to the fact that the Complainant was not a party to the violence,” added Mr Keenan.
The judge also said it was clear “that the crime had a very serious impact on members of the Kenny family.”
Mr Justice Birmingham reduced the applicant’s prison sentence by one year, saying that “10 years is out of range for a 16-year-old”.
“Under these circumstances, we have decided to overturn the judgment handed down in the district court,” he said.
At a hearing Thursday, Colman FitzGerald SC for Lingurar Jnr said the primary ground of appeal relates to “the manner in which the trial judge dealt with the applicant’s age” at the time of the offense.
The headline was “too high” and there was “a fundamental error”, he continued, given the complainant’s age and guilt on the night in question.
If the judge had convicted an adult of a similar crime, the headline should have been “a lot higher” than the 10 years Judge McCabe nominated for his client.
The basis on which the jury was invited to find the applicant guilty related to the fatal assault on Mr Kenny, the attorney continued, although it had never been part of the prosecution’s case that his client complained to Mr Kenny’s ” Restraint or Harm” had participated. .
“There is no evidence to support that conclusion,” he said.
However, Judge McCarthy noted that the killing of Mr Kenny was “a crime committed with common intention” and in that respect Lingurar Jr. “has that responsibility” for the events of that night.
Patrick Gageby SC, chief prosecutor, said the robbery was planned and a “gross breach of trust”.
“It was all done for money. Mr Kenny was left dying or dead,” he added.
Referring to the transcript of Lingurar Jnr’s trial, Mr Gageby added: “It appears that the trial judge took youth and moral guilt into account when setting the main verdict.
“If the applicant had been complicit in the ill-treatment of Mr. Kenny, the sentence would have been much greater.”
Last July, the Court of Appeals refused Lingurar Jr. leave to appeal his manslaughter conviction at a hearing at which the dead man’s daughter, Gillian Kenny, asked the court not to let the appeal go any further.
Following the 2011 burglary and murder, Lingurar Jr broke his bail terms, fled Ireland and returned under an assumed name, resulting in his trial being postponed until 2019.
A mix-up then led to his appeal not being filed in a timely manner.
In the ruling, the President of the Court, Mr Justice George Birmingham, said Ms Kenny “described in very strong terms the impact her father’s murder had on the Kenny family and how difficult they found the very lengthy criminal proceedings”.
Mr Justice Birmingham said the appeals submitted had little chance of success.
The interests of the judiciary, he said, would be best served if the motion to appeal the conviction were denied.
https://www.independent.ie/news/pub-doorman-who-left-his-employer-to-die-on-a-toilet-floor-after-a-violent-robbery-has-nine-year-jail-term-reduced-by-one-year-41534438.html Pub porter who left his employer to die on toilet floor after violent robbery has had nine years in prison reduced by one year