Dad appeals for help in tracking gang as son's killer is jailed
Published 12/11/2010 | 05:00
THE family of a man killed in an unprovoked attack yesterday appealed for help to track down his killers as one of them was jailed for nine years.
Angelo O'Riordan (23), Point Road, Bellurgan, Co Louth, was sentenced to 10 years in jail, with the final year suspended, for the manslaughter of Aidan Myers, in an attack during which he was dragged under a car after being attacked with a machete.
Mr Justice Patrick McCarthy in the Central Criminal Court described the December 2006 killing in Co Louth as "quite shocking".
Speaking afterwards, Mr Myers' brother Cormac app-ealed to the people of Dundalk to come forward with information on the other men who were involved in the attack.
"Three other people are running around in Dundalk who had every bit as much to do with this crime, they're every bit as guilty as the accused here today. The smallest piece of information may be enough to convict them," he said.
He described Aidan as a "normal chap" who loved his football and was a great friend and brother. "We'll never get over it," he said.
Mr Myers' father, Tom, echoed his son's call. "We would love if people came forward with information that may help put these other three people away," he said, adding that the family were happy with the sentence.
"We think the crime deserved the sentence. We're more than happy with the decision."
The judge said Mr Myers and his friend Gearoid O'Donnell had been two law-abiding citizens and were completely innocent parties minding their own business when they were set upon by O'Riordan and a gang of men and assaulted "in a most violent fashion".
O'Riordan, of Point Road, Bellurgan, Dundalk, originally went on trial for murder last July. But when the case was in its third week he pleaded guilty to manslaughter after his girlfriend was declared a hostile witness and was about to be cross-examined by lawyers for the prosecution.
He also pleaded guilty to assault causing harm to Mr O'Donnell, who died in July 2007 from an underlying medical condition.
O'Riordan was sentenced to three years for the assault, to run concurrent with the manslaughter sentence.
The court heard that Mr Myers and Mr O'Donnell had been driving into Dundalk on December 12, 2006, and were at Faughart when their car was rammed from behind.
Thinking it was an accident, they got out to assess the damage and were attacked by a gang of four men, two of whom were wielding machetes.
O'Riordan, who was part of this gang, got into a Mitsubishi that had been hijacked earlier that evening, and as Mr Myers lay injured on the ground, rammed it into Mr O'Donnell's Astra, causing it to run over Mr Myers and drag him along the road for a distance of 50 yards.
He was rushed to Louth County Hospital after passers-by raised the alarm, but he died shortly afterwards from multiple rib fractures, trauma to the liver and haemorrhaging, followed by several heart attacks.
The judge said he was particularly struck by a part of the Myers family victim impact statement, where they described sitting around Aidan's body in a small hospital room thinking "please, oh please no".
He said O'Riordan's actions had been "morally reprehensible" and the crime was very high on the scale of manslaughter.