Family furious as son's knife killer gets just seven years
Published 08/12/2011 | 05:00
THE family of a young man killed in front of the mother of his unborn baby has voiced disgust at the seven-year jail term handed down to his attacker.
And the victim's mother claimed the killer would strike again when freed.
They were speaking after the 23-year-old man was sentenced for killing the father-to-be in front of his heavily pregnant girlfriend.
Daniel McCormack, of Kenure Park, Rush, Co Dublin, had pleaded not guilty to murder but guilty of the manslaughter of James Joyce (20) near his home at St Cronan's Close, Swords, Dublin, on July 22, 2010.
A jury acquitted him of murdering Mr Joyce but convicted him of manslaughter following a trial in October.
The trial heard that McCormack stabbed an innocent Mr Joyce three times after arming himself with two knives as protection from another man, Mick Monaghan.
The jury heard that Mick Monaghan travelled from Co Meath to beat McCormack that night but, failing to find him, beat a friend of McCormack's instead.
McCormack heard about this, got two knives and went to the scene. He said he was just planning to collect his injured friend.
However he met James Joyce, who was angry that their mutual friend had been attacked. They each threw a can of beer at the other before McCormack took out the knives and began swinging them at him.
Mr Joyce was stabbed three times and died after being taken to hospital.
McCormack read about his death on Teletext that night and handed himself into gardai the following day. He has been in custody since.
Passing sentence at the Central Criminal Court yesterday, Mr Justice Paul Carney said this case was "clouded by the vengeful intentions of Mr Monaghan towards the accused and others."
However he didn't think this had a bearing on the defendant's responsibility for the killing.
"Knife fatalities fall into one of three categories, escalating in gravity," he said.
"This case most closely fits in with the third category, the most grave of the three," he said.
He also said that, having regard to over 50 manslaughter cases, he placed this killing at the upper end of the scale.
He said he could not take the defendant's previous good character into account as he had 14 relevant convictions and imposed a 10-year sentence, backdating it to his arrest.
The judge suspended the final three years due to his remorse, his guilty plea and his age, on condition McCormack keep away from the Joyce family in perpetuity.
Afterwards, the victim's parents, Patrick and Rose Joyce, said they were disgusted with the sentence.
"I think it's a disgrace because he was done before for knives," said Mr Joyce.
He said his son was an innocent victim and he wanted the Director of Public Prosecutions to appeal what he considered to be a lenient sentence.
Mrs Joyce said she was disgusted, considering his 51 previous convictions and background of knife crime.
"He's walking free, he's going to do the same thing again and there's no saying that he's not because once it's in him, he's going to do it," she continued.
The victim's partner, Alison Colgan, who gave birth to his son a few months after his death, said there was no justice at all.
"Our family is ruined over him," she said.