Tuesday 22 August 2017

'Finally we have justice for Anna' as partner found guilty of murder

Family urge anyone who is in an abusive relationship to seek help

Anna Finnegan’s sister Lisa with, left, Caoimhe De Brun and Janice O’Neill outside the Criminal Courts of Justice. Photo: Gerry Mooney
Anna Finnegan’s sister Lisa with, left, Caoimhe De Brun and Janice O’Neill outside the Criminal Courts of Justice. Photo: Gerry Mooney

Conor Feehan and Alison O'Riordan

The family of a young mother stabbed to death by her abusive partner said she finally has justice now that the "animal is locked up".

Vesel Jahiri (35) was found guilty at the Central Criminal Court of the murder of his former partner and mother of their two children Anna Finnegan.

Jahiri stabbed Ms Finnegan to death in her own home a month after she had sought refuge at a women's shelter.

Ms Finnegan wrote that Jahiri made her life "hell", had beaten her and "almost killed her". They had been together since she was 16 years old.

Jahiri, originally from Kosovo but of no fixed abode, had pleaded not guilty to a charge of murdering Ms Finnegan (25) at Allendale Glen, Clonsilla, on September 21, 2012.

Jurors also found Jahiri guilty of stabbing Anna's brother Karl Finnegan to the chest and head during the same attack.

Vesel Jahiri Photo: Colin Keegan, Collins
Vesel Jahiri Photo: Colin Keegan, Collins

Jahiri was representing himself at his own trial and was removed from the court on several occasions, including after he punched the prosecuting barrister in the face.

Read More: 'We can move on with our lives and try and live without Anna' - Family speak out as Jahiri found guilty of murder

Yesterday, before the verdicts were read out, Jahiri was brought into court accompanied by four prison officers dressed in riot gear. As the jury came into court to deliver their unanimous verdict, Jahiri began shouting at them and was excluded from the courtroom.

Ms Finnegan's family and friends spoke outside court after the verdict and said they were overwhelmed that the tragic young mother had finally received justice.

Her sister Lisa Finnegan urged any woman in an abusive relationship to seek help.

"It's been a very long, tedious, gruelling, exhausting time, and mentally draining, but the jury have made the right decision," she said.

"They can sleep tight tonight knowing they have put a very dangerous man away.

"I urge any young girls out there who are suffering the same as Anna did, to come forward, speak to somebody, anybody. Somebody will help you.

"You feel so alone sometimes, Anna told me, and that nobody will understand you or believe you, it's not true.

"There are people, anybody, your next door neighbour, your friend, your mother, your aunt. But we are so happy we've gotten justice for Anna.

"He (Jahiri) absconded for a year and a half and we lived in pure terror for that time because he had threatened to kill me, kill my children one by one in front of me, these things could never be told to the jury."

Ms Finnegan's friend Janice O'Neill added: "I can't believe the animal is locked up, thank God."

The court adjourned sentencing until May 8.

Jahiri had been a child soldier in his native Kosovo and told gardaí in interviews that he had lost his mother and sister.

The couple were together for 10 years and had two young children together.

However, in the months leading up to September 2012, their relationship turned sour and they separated.

Ms Finnegan had a protection order against Jahiri and had gone to a women's refuge with her children.

In Ms Finnegan's own words, Jahiri was a 'control freak', an 'animal' and a 'bully' who, she conceded, was "ok 20pc of the time".

"I know you're not a bad person and need help but you are dangerous until you see a doctor," she wrote in a tragically prophetic three-page letter that she never sent to him but was later found in her handbag by gardaí investigating her brutal death.

Irish Independent

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