THE sisters of a murder victim burst into tears after a Dublin man was sentenced to life imprisonment for the fatal stabbing of their brother.
Criostoir MacCarthaigh (36) of An Gleann, Baile Phamar (Palmerstown), had pleaded not guilty to stabbing David Whyte more than 100 times between September 24 and 26, 2008.
The murder trial heard that the accused had stabbed the deceased 'to pieces' in the ruin of an old church. A jury of seven men and four women came to the unanimous guilty verdict at the Central Criminal Court yesterday after three hours of deliberations over two days.
The jury heard that MacCarthaigh had been drinking in a flat in Phibsborough on the night of the killing.
It was the prosecution's case that he had left at around 11pm to go into the city centre when he encountered David Whyte on Ulster Street.
The State contended that MacCarthaigh then attacked Mr Whyte, driving him to Mill Lane in Palmerstown where he stabbed him repeatedly in a church ruin.
Mr Whyte's two sisters, Lesley and Paula, were emotional following the delivery of the verdict.
Mr Whyte was described as a 'gentle giant' in a victim-impact statement read to the court by his brother-in-law, Jonathan Spollen.
"David was a happy-go-lucky, gentle giant who never harmed a soul in his life," said Mr Spollen. "Unfortunately, our Davey found himself in the wrong place at the wrong time after a night out socialising with his friends. It could have been anybody's son, brother or friend that found themselves in this horrendous situation."
Speaking outside the court, Mr Spollen added that he had nothing to say about MacCarthaigh.
"There is no motive -- it was an absolute attack on an innocent man who found himself in the wrong place at the wrong time.
"He was walking home from the pub, he was attacked, he was stabbed to death, he was left on his own in a strange place and nobody knew where he was or what was wrong. We didn't know he was even missing when this all occurred. He was an absolutely innocent man.
"I have nothing to say about him (Criostoir MacCarthaigh). We got the verdict that we believe is the right verdict."