Brothers get life for brutal murder
Retrial jury finds pair guilty of 2006 killing
Published 23/02/2011 | 05:00
TWO brothers who viciously beat and stabbed a father to death in front of his wife and children were yesterday found guilty of murder for a second time.
Warren (36) and Jeffrey Dumbrell (30) told one of Christopher Cawley's daughters who witnessed the killing: "Your daddy's gone now," before walking away and leaving him to bleed to death.
The two criminals were originally found guilty in 2008 of the brutal murder of the father-of-six, but a retrial was ordered after it was ruled the presiding judge had made prejudicial public comments during the trial.
Last night the brothers, of Emmet Place in Inchicore, were found guilty for a second time -- with gardai describing Dublin as a "far safer place" now that they are off the streets.
The court heard during the trial that the pair had hunted Mr Cawley down, and chased him into the flats at Tyrone Place in Inchicore, attacking him with a knife and a hurley when he fell on the stairwell.
The brothers -- who have 35 convictions between them -- had originally been found guilty of the October 2006 murder of the 33-year-old in Dublin following a trial at the Central Criminal Court.
But the convictions were later deemed unsafe by the Court of Criminal Appeal (CCA) after the trial judge, Mr Justice Paul Carney, made "strong and trenchant" remarks about knife crimes and sentencing in an widely publicised academic speech delivered during the original trial.
In handing down the mandatory life sentence to each of the Dumbrells last night, retrial judge Mr Justice Paul Butler said he echoed his colleague Mr Justice Carney's comments about knife crime.
He said possession of knives was clearly "absolutely as dangerous as firearms" and was not to be tolerated.
Warren Dumbrell has 27 previous convictions, including convictions for assault and possession of firearms and a 10-year sentence for starting a riot in Mountoy Prison in 1997.
Jeffrey Dumbrell had eight previous convictions, including larceny and possession of firearms.
Speaking after the verdict, Mr Cawley's widow Janette revealed in her victim impact statement that she is on medication to help her deal with the impact of her husband's murder.
"I miss him, I just want to go home to my kids. I am happy with the outcome," she said.
The dead man's brothers, Martin and Edward Cawley, said that the family had feared that the Dumbrell brothers would be acquitted after the judge directed the jury that it was up to them (the jurors) to decide if Mr Cawley had been armed with a knife prior to his death.
The court was told that earlier that day Mr Cawley was involved in an argument with the Dumbrells' younger brother.
The accused claimed that they only went to Tyrone Place on the night of the killing to confront Mr Cawley, give him "a few slaps" and tell him to leave their brother alone.
However, several witnesses told how they saw the two brothers chasing Mr Cawley.
Outside court retired Superintendent PJ Brown, who had headed up the investigation, told reporters: "Dublin is a far safer place now they are off the streets."