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Saturday 20 September 2014

'It felt like Shane was on trial for his own murder' – victim's sister

Anne Sharkey

Published 06/06/2014 | 02:30

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Jenna Rossiter and (inset) her brother Shane
Jenna Rossiter and (inset) her brother Shane

THE sister of a murder victim Shane Rossiter said the family felt like the trial was an attack on her brother's character.

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In their victim impact statement – which was read to the court after Maurice Power was found guilty of murder – the family said they felt Shane was on trial for his own murder.

Yesterday Power was sentenced to life imprisonment for the murder of Mr Rossiter in 2012.

Mr Rossiter died as a result of gunshot wounds on October 17, 2012, following a house party in Church Lane, Golden, Co Tipperary.

Power (31) of Dranganbeg, Kilmoyler, Cahir, Co Tipperary had denied the murder charge.

The Central Criminal Court heard that the accused had grown up with Shane Rossiter and that they had been good friends. The accused told gardai in interview that "there was bad blood between he (Shane Rossiter) and myself".

He said there was "a lot of serious history" between them and "it involved a stabbing" seven years prior to the death of Mr Rossiter. He told gardai he was in fear for his family and for himself.

The jury were told that the deceased had moved home from Australia six weeks before he died.

The four-week trial heard that there was an extensive period of detention in which the accused made a full confession to his crime. Following his arrest on December 11, 2012, the accused told gardai that he had "let a shot at Shane Rossiter" at 6.45 on the morning of October 17.

State Pathologist Marie Cassidy told the court that she carried out a post-mortem examination on the victim.

She described two shotgun entry wounds to the chest and abdomen with no exit wounds, causing devastating internal injuries and blood loss into his chest cavity.

Professor Cassidy said the cause of death was shotgun wounds to the chest and abdomen, blood loss and injuries to the right lung, heart, liver, spleen, bowel, aorta and inferior vena cava.

The court heard that the burnt remains of the accused man's car were found near Clonmel, Co Tipperary, shortly after the death of Shane Rossiter.

The jury deliberated for more than four hours over two days before reaching a guilty verdict by 11 to one.

The sister of the deceased, Jenna Rossiter, read an impact statement describing how her brother's life had been "taken overnight".

"The pain of losing someone you love through violence came as a devastating shock to all of us. His life was taken overnight – so much left unsaid," she said.

"We lost a brother before, which makes Shane's death even harder to accept. We will always wonder 'what if?' This has affected each of us differently – it is a life sentence for us."

"It felt like Shane was on trial for his own murder. It was an attack on his own character. No amount of dragging Shane's name through dirt will make a difference to his warmth, wit and all the happy times."

Irish Independent

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