Irishman sentenced to life in jail in Australia for murder of Wexford man Kenny Meyler
An Irishman has been sentenced to life in jail in Australia for murdering Wexford man Kenny Meyler.
Vincent Crowe (35) was sentenced to a minimum of 17 years for killing the 21-year-old while high on drugs.
The men were both working in Perth, Western Australia at the time but did not know each other.
Mr Crowe told the Western Australian Supreme Court he did not remember the stabbing because he had been drinking and had taken the drug mephedrone, popularly known as meow meow.
He admitted the offence of unlawful killing, but the jury convicted him of the more serious crime of murder.
Mr Meyler was stabbed in the right side of the neck by Crowe while they were out drinking with mutual friends.
It is the second time Crowe has stood trial, after another jury was unable to reach a verdict in October 2014.
During the first trial, the court heard that Crowe began drinking in bars on the night of February 9, 2013, and then went to a nightclub where he took ecstasy, drank more alcohol and met Kenny Meyler through a mutual friend.
At about 4 a.m, Crowe took mephedrone at a party in an apartment which continued into the following afternoon, February 10.
At about 1 p.m. that day there was a verbal dispute between Crowe's friend David Murphy and Kenny Meyler, but they shook hands shortly afterwards.
A witness previously testified that things calmed down and everyone was chatting.
The court was told that at about 2.30 p.m. Crowe grabbed a knife and thrust it into the right side of Kenny's neck as he sat at a dining room table.
The witness told the court how he watched Crowe walk to the kitchen to get knife before heading back to where Kenny was sitting.
He said: 'He stabbed Kenny. He didn't seem angry, he seemed calm. He also didn't say anything.'
He recalled how the knife was knocked out of Crowe's hand while he and others dashed to help Kenny, who was on life support for six days before he died.
Justice Robert Mitchell told the court that Crowe’s use of drugs explained his conduct but did not excuse it, and memory loss was not a mitigating factor.
Mr Meyler’s mother Melanie read out her victim impact statement in court, describing it as cruel that the family were put through two trials.
She told the court her son did not like drugs.
“I am lost without Kenny. A part of me left with my son. My world fell apart.”