Sunday 17 December 2017

Butcher gets life for shopkeeper's murder

Father of two stabbed to death in €50 robbery

Lonan Paul

Clockwise from main: widow Brianne Finn leaving court yesterday; shopkeeper John Deasy; Anthony Farrell, who received a life sentence; and gardai inspecting the scene of the killing in Arklow, Co Wicklow. Collins Courts/Michael Kelly/Garry O'Neill

A 20-YEAR-OLD man was jailed for life yesterday for the murder of a shopkeeper during a robbery of just €50.

But a teenage daughter of victim John Deasy said she would never see her father again -- while the parents of his killer would still get to see their son.

Anthony Farrell, a butcher, was given life in prison after he was found guilty of murdering 48-year-old Mr Deasy during a robbery in November 2009.

Farrell (20) from Marian Villas, Arklow, Co Wicklow, was convicted last month of killing the father of two at Brauder's newsagents in the town after robbing €50.

In a victim impact statement at the sentencing, Mr Deasy's youngest daughter said: "I will never see him again, but Anthony Farrell's parents can see him again."

Mr Deasy's ex-wife, Brianne Finn, said the "untimely death" was a very "difficult transition" for her and their daughters, aged 13 and 16.

She said Mr Deasy, a rugby lover, was "a good dad" who had always stayed in the lives of his daughters following their divorce.

She described being at the scene the night Mr Deasy died and hoping that it was not someone local who had killed him. It was very difficult to be around the town, reminded of the killing every time she passed the shop, she added.

She said her daughters found it very difficult to pass the shop, which they had to do every time they visited their grandparents.

A Central Criminal Court jury unanimously found Farrell guilty of the murder following his trial in April. He had pleaded guilty to robbery at the outset of the trial.

Mr Deasy died in the doorway of the newsagents. His shop assistant Kay O'Connor had screamed for help when Farrell appeared wearing a balaclava, wielding a kitchen knife and demanding money.

Mr Deasy ran from his overhead apartment and tried to block Farrell's escape, but the butcher stabbed him through the heart, leaving him to die.

In handing down the sentence, Mr Justice Paul Butler described it as a "very sad and tragic case, a robbery that led to the violent death of Mr Deasy at the hands of the accused while he was bravely trying to defend his property and Ms O'Connor".

He said he was particularly struck by Mr Deasy's youngest daughter who had spoke of how difficult she found it to pass the shop where her father was killed.

The judge sentenced Farrell to the mandatory life imprisonment for murder, and to six years for the robbery. Both sentences were backdated to April 2010 when Farrell first went into custody.

Defence counsel Michael O'Higgins said that he had received "express instructions" from his client to apologise to Mr Deasy's friends, family and the town of Arklow.

Irish Independent

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