Killer Lillis runs out of time to appeal his sentence
Legal deadline missed
Published 27/02/2010 | 05:00
WIFE-KILLER Eamonn Lillis is no longer guaranteed a chance to reduce his sentence after missing a deadline for serving notice of appeal.
The 52-year-old television advertising producer had until yesterday evening to gain an automatic appeal against the length of his six years-and-11-month sentence for the manslaughter of Celine Cawley.
The development was surprising given that lawyers for Lillis had signalled in the aftermath of his trial that they would be lodging an appeal.
However, a 21-day window within which notice of appeal could have been lodged expired yesterday evening without any action being taken by Lillis's lawyers.
If Lillis is to seek an appeal at a later date, he will find it much harder as he would first have to get the approval of the Court of Criminal Appeal (CCA) to proceed.
As well as having the power to affirm or decrease the amount of time a prisoner service, the CCA could also increase a prison sentence following an appeal.
Lillis was jailed earlier this month after a jury found him not guilty of murder, but guilty of the manslaughter of Ms Cawley at their upmarket home in Howth, Co Dublin.
He initially claimed to gardai that he disturbed a masked intruder who assaulted his wife on the patio at the rear of their home.
However, the story began to unravel when gardai discovered bloodstained clothes hidden in the attic.
Lillis later told his daughter and a masseuse, Jean Treacy (32), that Celine had died accidentally in a row.
He had been having an affair with Ms Treacy for several weeks at the time of the killing.
She later gave evidence as a prosecution witness at the trial.
Ms Cawley ran the successful Toytown Films television advertising company.
She brought her husband on board after he lost his job with another firm.
Ms Cawley started the firm after giving up a successful career as a model in Paris and New York.
She also appeared in a small non-speaking role opposite Roger Moore in the James Bond movie 'A View To A Kill'.
Lillis is now serving his sentence at Wheatfield Prison in west Dublin, where he has been assigned the prisoner number 55511.
He has his own cell, but shares a landing with another high-profile killer, Finn Colclough, who was jailed for manslaughter after knifing a teenager to death in Ballsbridge, Dublin.
Other high-profile wife killers at the prison include David Bourke, Brian Kearney and Anton Mulder.