Tragic Seb screamed out: 'Run, Jen, run ... '
Inquest told of last words of boyfriend before he was killed
Published 16/04/2010 | 05:00
A YOUNG man told his girlfriend to run for her life as he was stabbed to death by her former boyfriend, an inquest heard yesterday.
Shane Clancy (22) took his own life after fatally stabbing Sebastian Creane and wounding Jennifer Hannigan and Mr Creane's brother, Dylan.
Clancy, from Dalkey in south Dublin, had been left broken-hearted after a break-up with his girlfriend, Ms Hannigan.
Within weeks of being prescribed the anti-depressant Cipramil, the final-year Trinity College student had already tried to kill himself through an overdose.
After telling a GP about the suicide attempt, he was given another prescription for the drug, but at a lower dosage. A week later, he carried out the frenzied knife attack.
Ms Hannigan was visibly shaken in the witness box as she told the inquest at East Wicklow Coroner's Court of how her boyfriend Sebastian screamed: "Run, Jen, run!" as Clancy appeared at Mr Creane's door with a knife.
Clancy then forced his way into the sitting room where Ms Hannigan was hiding and attacked her, stabbing her in the back. The knife broke, leaving the blade in her back.
Clancy's body was later found in a crouching position in a shrubbery in a pool of blood, with the knife beside him.
He had stabbed himself six times in the chest and upper abdomen and died after plunging the blade into his heart.
Clancy's mother, Leonie Fennell, sobbed as she told the inquest how her son underwent a seismic shift from a well-rounded young man into a morose shell of his former self.
The jury of 10 men and two women delivered an open verdict into Clancy's death. They rejected an option of death by suicide but found that he died from self-inflicted injuries.
Det Insp Frank Keneghan, who headed up the investigation, outlined how the tragic events of August 15, 2009 began with a night out amongst friends at Queen's nightclub in Dalkey. Clancy dropped Mr Creane back to his house at Cuala Grove in Bray, Co Wicklow.
After a period, Clancy left and went to Dunnes Stores in Cornelscourt, where he bought a block of five kitchen knives.
Brothers Ross and Gareth Cahill, friends of Sebastian Creane, told the court they had gone to the club with Sebastian and others and that Shane Clancy was also there.
Shane was "extremely quiet," said Gareth, but later he offered to drop them home.
Clancy drove "recklessly" and asked Sebastian Creane where he lived. Mr Creane told him, then typed a message on his mobile phone, which he showed to Gareth.
It read: "He now knows where I live, he'll have an axe murderer after me."
Ross Cahill told how Sebastian had not wanted to take a lift from Shane. He had the impression that Shane wanted to talk to Sebastian alone.
After Shane dropped the two brothers off home, Ross sent Sebastian a text saying: "Are you f****** crazy? You should have definitely stayed here. That guy is not right. At least make him drop you at a house that ain't yours. LOL (laugh out loud) Good luck."
Dylan Creane, Sebastian's brother, told the inquest he had awoken that night to hear voices downstairs. He went back to sleep but was awoken by screaming, with Sebastian saying: "I've been stabbed."
He ran downstairs to find Sebastian with blood on his shirt, then a person came towards him, saying: "It's okay, it's okay."
This person grabbed him, overpowering him. He felt no pain, just thumps on his back and left side. He tried to get away and saw the knife in this man's hand. He said: "I realised this guy was trying to kill me."
He managed to get a pair of keys which had a small Swiss army knife on the keyring and threatened the man with it. The man then backed off but by that point Dylan Creane had been stabbed nine times.
Jennifer Hannigan told the inquest that she went out with Clancy from January 2006 but by March 2009, the relationship had run its course.
"Shane was the first to say it," she said.
When she began dating Sebastian Creane, a fellow student at Dun Laoghaire College, Clancy got jealous and from that day on, "changed in the way he walked, talked, everything," said Ms Hannigan.
On August 15, she was at her father's workplace in Glen of the Downs when Clancy showed up and she had to hide. Clancy told her father that he was "put on the planet to be with me," Ms Hannigan said.
The next evening, she got a text from her boyfriend, who was on a night out with friends in Dalkey, saying Shane was there. She later asked Sebastian how the evening had gone and he invited her over to his house.
He told her the night with Shane Clancy had been "surreal". He had been scared and asked Clancy to leave his house after he had asked him for a scissors or knife "to fix his shoe".
She got a missed call, then a text, from Shane, saying that he "did something stupid and was going to die".
She rang him, then realised he was outside the house. Sebastian thought he was hurt and went outside to help.
Suddenly, Ms Creane heard her boyfriend shout: "What the f*** is that?" and he screamed: "Run, Jen, run!"
Sebastian Creane was later found dead in his parents' bedroom.