Sunday 23 July 2017

'He killed my daughter, her friend and two children and I'm terrified of what he'll do when he gets out

Tragic mum: 'I fear the day killer gets out'

Abina Ring with photos of (left to right) Reece, Sarah and Amy. Photo: Limerick Voice
Abina Ring with photos of (left to right) Reece, Sarah and Amy. Photo: Limerick Voice

Ryan O'Rourke

The mother of a woman who was stabbed to death along with her friend and two children has spoken for the first time about her fears at the killer emerging from behind bars.

Abina Ring (51) lost her daughter Sarah (25) and her grandchildren Reece (3) and five-month-old Amy when they were murdered by John Geary at their home in Newcastle West, Co Limerick, on November 15, 2010.

When Sarah’s friend Alicia Brough returned to the house, Geary killed Alicia and three-year-old Reece. Photo: Steve Humphreys
When Sarah’s friend Alicia Brough returned to the house, Geary killed Alicia and three-year-old Reece. Photo: Steve Humphreys
MURDERED: Mum Sarah Hines was brutally killed by her ex-partner John Geary who then turned on his five-month-old daughter Amy. Photo: Press 22

The 37-year-old murdered his ex-partner and their five-month-old daughter because she had left him.

He also killed Sarah's three-year-old son Reece and her friend Alicia Brough (20) because they happened upon the scene.

The Central Criminal Court heard gardaí had found two knives and a screwdriver at the scene - but believed up to five weapons had been used.

Geary then travelled by bus to Kilkee, Co Clare, where he checked into a guesthouse and had a drink at the bar.

John Geary
John Geary

He had a full breakfast the following morning, before going to two pubs. He was arrested in the second pub that afternoon.

In an interview with the 'Limerick Voice', Sarah's heartbroken mother, Abina, said her grief was compounded by her fear of what might happen when Geary was released. Originally from Milford in Co Cork, Geary was given four concurrent life sentences for the murders in 2013.

"He will get out; he's probably thinking about it already. How will my boys react?" said Ms Ring.

"Life should mean life. He might be an old man by the time he's free, but he can still hurt someone."

"I've been living day to day, my children keep me going," said the mother-of-six.

The grieving mother suffered a heart attack after finding out the details of her daughter's murder.

"The guards told me all the details because they thought John was going to plead not guilty, and they wanted to prepare me for what was going to come up in court," she said.

"I started getting pains down my arm. It was the shock of what I had been told."

The heartbroken mother warned how violence can visit anyone's doorstep.

"You see things like this on the news and think that's not going to happen to me," said Ms Ring.

"But it could happen to you, your sister, your daughter, your neighbour, your friend.

"I think Sarah would tell people to be careful.

"If you don't feel safe, get out. If you see someone in an abusive situation, help them."

It is believed Geary became obsessive after the relationship fell apart months before the murder.

"He always wanted to know where she was and who she was with," Ms Ring added.

She believes more can be done to prevent more tragedies like her own family's.

"There should be a registry for people with a violent history," she said.

"That way, when you bring someone into your home, you can see who they are."

Irish Independent

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