Saturday 3 December 2016

Eight years for killer who hid his victim's body in bog

Alison O'Riordan

Published 17/11/2015 | 02:30

Ex-soldier Jimmy Devaney was jailed for eight years
Ex-soldier Jimmy Devaney was jailed for eight years
Victim Marie Greene, whose body was found in a bog

A retired soldier has been jailed for eight years after he killed a prostitute whose body was found in a bog nine days after she went missing.

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But the family of Marie Greene said Jimmy Devaney "should have got more" and they hoped he died in prison.

In July 2015, Devaney (67) of Millbrook Avenue, Monksland, Athlone, was acquitted of murdering Ms Greene but found guilty of her manslaughter.

The father of three had pleaded not guilty at the Central Criminal Court to murdering Ms Greene in Co Westmeath on February 13, 2011.

Yesterday, Ms Justice Margaret Heneghan told the court that this case merited a custodial sentence of 11 years, but in all circumstances she imposed an eight-year custodial sentence backdated to July 30 2015, the day the jury returned their verdict of guilty to manslaughter.

The court heard Devaney had offered a plea of manslaughter but this had not been accepted by the DPP and it proceeded as a murder trial.

Ms Greene, who was working as a prostitute, was last seen alive on the evening on February 13, 2011, and her body was discovered nine days later in Anagorta Bog outside Athlone.

The judge first extended her sympathy to Ms Greene's family. She said that Ms Greene "died tragically" and as a result of the crime they had been "deprived of a daughter and sister".

But speaking after the sentence hearing, the victim's older sister Theresa Greene said she was not happy with the sentence handed down.

Ms Greene said Devaney "should have got more" and she hoped he "died in prison".

"We will never see our sister again, it is hard on us but harder on my poor mother," she said.

"We don't accept the apology from him or his family.

"Marie was my favourite sister and I'm heartbroken.

"She was very good to my mother and looked after her, as good as any husband to her," she said.

Winnie Greene, the mother of the dead woman, also said she would have liked Devaney "to get the full 11 years".

"Twenty one days after Marie died, my son died so I lost two of them together and that is very hard. I hope Devaney gets it very hard in prison," she said.

The judge told the court everything from "a suspended sentence to imprisonment for life" was what was "available" for her to hand down to Devaney.

She said the facts of the case were "very distressing".

"The accused man has been described as gentle, honest, reliable, trustworthy, disciplined and a dependable soldier. He was a man involved in charity work."

The judge then said that the aggravating factors included the use of a knife, the number of wounds inflicted, and attempts to cover up the evidence.

"I have considered all the matters put before me in this court. I have considered the aggravating and mitigating factors," she said.

Irish Independent

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