AN UNEMPLOYED mechanic wept as he was handed a mandatory life sentence after being convicted of the brutal murder of a taxi driver.
A Central Criminal Court jury today unanimously convicted Lloyd Buckley (40) of murdering his friend and neighbour, Michael Healy (62).
The jury had deliberated for 90 minutes before convicting Buckley who had pleaded guilty to manslaughter but who had denied the murder of the father of two.
Mr Buckley had insisted he had not intended to kill Mr Healy at Flat G, 3 Rocksprings Terrace, Cork between September 18 and 22 2010.
However, the Director of Public Prosecutions refused to accept the plea to the lesser charge.
Mr Healy died from severe trauma to the head inflicted with a heavy, blunt object.
He was struck at least six times while lying on his bed, driving fragments of his skull into his brain and forcing his left eyeball into his brain cavity.
Today, Mr Buckley sobbed as the jury returned the guilty verdict and Mr Justice Paul Carney imposed the mandatory life sentence.
Buckley, in a statement read out by his legal team, apologised to the Healy family for any suffering he had caused them.
“I wish to say how sorry I am for causing so much pain and hurt and every day I wish I could undo this,” he said.
He insisted he had never intended to kill Mr Healy.
However, Mr Healy’s brother, Dermot, said the killing had cast a dark shadow over their family.
“His death is now with me every minute and hour of the day and night,” he said.
The manner of his brother’s death has left him feeling “angry and disgusted” with the tragedy having changed his life forever.
Buckley, who has 26 previous convictions for burglary, public order and Road Traffic Act offences, was described during the trial as “a sad, lonely and isolated” figure.
He did not know his natural father and barely knew his stepfather. He has not worked as a mechanic in almost 15 years.
He also had addiction problems involving alcohol, heroin and prescription medications.
In 2009, he was placed in psychiatric care.
His life sentence was backdated to September 23 2010 when he was first taken into custody.