Saturday 25 October 2014

African drifter died after drink and drugs bender

FARAH Noor's last evening on earth was spent in a drug-and-alcohol-induced stupor at 17 Richmond Cottages in Dublin's Ballybough area on March 20, 2005. By the early hours of the next morning his body was cut into eight parts. His torso, legs and arms, went into the Royal Canal. His head, inside a schoolbag, was taken to a field in Tallaght and buried. It was never found.

Linda Mulhall, 36, who has a history of depression and self-harm, was convicted of Noor's manslaughter and sentenced in 2006 to 15 years imprisonment.

Her younger sister, Charlotte, 26, was convicted of his murder and is serving the mandatory life sentence. They were dubbed, and will for the forseeable future always be known as, Ireland's "scissor sisters" for dismembering Noor.

Noor became a close associate of the Mulhall family in the summer of 2001, but then moved to Cork, returning in 2004. At the time Noor was a serious abuser of drugs and alcohol and he could not hold down a job. By the time of his death, the Scissor Sisters were genuinely frightened of Noor because of threats he had made to kill them.

Noor's real name was Sheilila Said Salim. He arrived in Ireland in December 1996 and sought refugee status. His initial application was turned down in 1997.

He appealed, claiming he was from war-torn Mogadishu, that his family had all been killed and that his life would be in peril if he returned. It was all lies. He was born and brought up in Kenya by his Somali parents. He left a wife and three children abandoned in Kenya when he came to Ireland where, he later claimed, he had been told there was plenty of money for asylum seekers and plenty of women. He was granted asylum status in 1999.

The information gardai dug up about Noor was shocking. In 1997, he raped and impregnated a mentally disabled Chinese girl who was only 16. She later gave birth to a son.

In April 1998 he met and seduced another 16-year-old girl from Tallaght. She, too, was soon pregnant. She moved in with Noor after their son's birth. She said that at first he behaved well but later began drinking and taking drugs and regularly beat and raped her. When drunk he often burned himself on the arms and forehead with lit cigarettes. He always carried knives.

Of eight charges that he faced for disorder and assault, one involved a sexual assault in which a knife was found at the scene by gardai. He was convicted on three occasions but did not serve time in jail.

He was a drifter staying in various flats and houses in the Dun Laoghaire and Firhouse districts, as well as in Dublin's inner city and, at one stage, in two locations in Cork city. Garda descriptions of him state that he was particularly violent towards women. Noor appeared to believe he was on a sex, drugs and drink holiday in Ireland.

On the day of his death he met up with the two Mulhall sisters and others in Dublin

city centre and went on a bender.

The group acquired a large bottle of vodka and four bottles of Coke, which were half emptied and topped up with vodka, and began drinking in the street. There was also ecstasy. By late in the evening when they returned to the flat in Ballybough they were all intoxicated.

Noor grabbed and attempted to rape Linda Mulhall and apparently he was further violent before he was attacked by the two sisters, Charlotte with a knife and Linda with a hammer. He died quite quickly.

Jim Cusack

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