UVF joke blamed for brutal knife murder
Man gets life term for killing Englishman
A MAN was convicted yesterday of the murder of an Englishman, whom he repeatedly stabbed after the victim had joked that his father had been a member of the UVF.
Timothy O'Driscoll (34) was convicted of the murder of Lee McCarthy (25), who suffered from mild autism, by a Central Criminal Court jury in Cork.
The jury rejected a defence of provocation and returned a 10-2 majority verdict.
Speaking after O'Driscoll received a mandatory life sentence, Mr McCarthy's family said they were "absolutely ecstatic" over the verdict.
Mr McCarthy's mother, Karen Roberts, said they had been robbed of "a special, loving boy". Her son was raised in Britain but had family links in Cork.
"We will never find it in our hearts to forgive what you (O'Driscoll) did -- the only thing we are sure is that Lee is in a better place than you," she said.
"Listening to (the pathology) evidence, we felt so angry. We just wanted to scream: 'Why? Why? Why?'"
Ms Roberts, speaking beside Lee's brother, Daniel, said: "We got justice."
O'Driscoll had insisted to gardai that he defended himself against an intruder in his home.
The trial heard that O'Driscoll, of St Rita's, Gurranabraher, Cork, had a history of self-harm and psychiatric problems. He had vehemently denied the murder of the Englishman on April 17 last year. Mr McCarthy's blood-soaked body was discovered by gardai in a shed behind the St Rita's house.
O'Driscoll had told gardai he confronted an intruder in the early hours after hearing his mother screaming. He insisted he did not know the man.
The killer's blood-soaked clothing was later found in a washing machine.
The trial heard that O'Driscoll had been drinking with another man, Stephen Monaghan, in a local pub when they met Mr McCarthy earlier that night.
Mr Monaghan told the court that the three of them went back to O'Driscoll's home later that evening and that the accused became agitated when Mr McCarthy -- who had resettled in Cork -- joked that his father had been in the UVF.
He said O'Driscoll rolled up his sleeve to show a 'Tiocfaidh ar la' ('our day will come') republican tattoo.
The defendant then said he was going to kill him (McCarthy) -- and Mr Monaghan said he urged the deceased to get out of the house immediately.
Mr Monaghan said the deceased was only "messing" about the loyalist claim.
Mr McCarthy was later found to have suffered six major stab wounds. Two, to his neck, were fatal while a third penetrated a vertebra in his back. Bruises to his neck were consistent with having been violently grabbed by the throat. A 21cm long knife was discovered under his body.
Mr Justice Paul Carney imposed a mandatory life sentence.