Thursday 29 September 2016

On-the-run prisoner who killed brother is banned from driving

Ken Foy

Published 15/10/2015 | 13:02

Martin Connors is on the run
Martin Connors is on the run

A 24-year-old man who walked out of an open prison almost six months ago and is still on the run was fined and has been banned from driving at a court sitting in his absence.

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Martin Connors was serving a two-year sentence for killing his brother when he walked out of Shelton Abbey Open Prison in Co Wicklow in the early hours of April 29 last year – and has not yet been found.

It is understood that gardai have been working on the theory that the Wexford town man has been hiding out in the south-east of the country, where he is being helped by some of his close associates.

“Even though Connors has not been picked up yet, it is not necessarily a bad thing – because the fact that he is in hiding means that he has not been able to be an active criminal,” a source said last night.

Gardai almost caught him on the night of his escape, but have found no trace of him since.

Connors was a no-show at Wexford District Court last week where he was banned from driving for two years and fined €2,000 for failing to produce insurance after being stopped by gardai in Wexford town on October 9 last year.

He was also given separate fines totalling €900 for not wearing a seat-belt, and for not having a driving licence or L plates when the traffic stop happened at Kennedy Park, Wexford, on the same occasion.

Just days after he committed the driving offences last October, Connors was jailed for two years for manslaughter at Wexford Circuit Court.

Judge Barry Hickson said Martin Connors had intervened in a row and, as a result of an exchange of blows, his brother Michael (21) died on July 8, 2011.

Brutally

Michael Connors died in Beaumont Hospital as the result of injuries received a week after he was brutally assaulted.

Addressing Martin Connors directly, Judge Hickson said he knew the defendant and his family were still suffering over what had happened and would “grieve to the end of your days”.

He said he felt a custodial sentence was necessary despite the family’s trauma.

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