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Child killer seeks to overturn conviction

A CHILD killer will this week attempt to have his conviction and sentence overturned.

Ronnie Dunbar is serving a life sentence for the unlawful killing of "a disturbed, fragile and vulnerable" girl, Sligo teenager Melissa Mahon.

Last year, Dunbar, also known as Ronald McManus, was found not guilty of murder but guilty of the manslaughter of the troubled 14-year-old.

The missing child's remains were found dumped in the River Bonnet in Sligo.

The Court of Criminal Appeal will hear an application by Dunbar's legal team to quash his conviction tomorrow.

Dunbar was sentenced to life imprisonment for the manslaughter of Melissa in September 2006.

A murder conviction carries an automatic life sentence, but sentences for manslaughter vary depending on the gravity of the offence and the offender.

Mr Justice Barry White, who presided over the trial, said the 44-year-old disposed of the teenager's body in a manner not befitting an animal after taking her life.

"It was not done in panic, but a calculated and deliberate manner," he said at Dunbar's sentence hearing.

The appeal, to be heard by a three-judge court, is expected to last less than a day.

Irish Independent