Thursday 23 November 2017

Dublin man (20) sentenced to six and half years for death of German student

Wesley Kelly arriving at Dublin Central Criminal Court
Wesley Kelly arriving at Dublin Central Criminal Court
Thomas Heinrich and Alexandra Heinrich
Thomas Heinrich

Anne Sharkey

Another Dublin teenager was sentenced to nine years with the final two suspended for the murder of the student.

Thomas Heinrich (22) and Robert Rinker (25) were stabbed on St Anthony’s Road in Rialto on the 1 of December 2012. Mr Rinker, survived but Mr Heinrich died as a result of the injuries he sustained.

Wesley Kelly (20) of St Anthony’s Road in Rialto, had pleaded not guilty to murder but guilty to manslaughter at the Central Criminal Court yesterday.

This was accepted by the Director of Public Prosecutions.

Having previously denied both charges, Kelly was found guilty of assault causing harm to Mr Rinker by a majority verdict of 11 to 1. The jury failed to reach a verdict as to whether he was guilty of murdering Mr Heinrich.

The 17-year-old, had pleaded not guilty to murdering Mr Heinrich and to assault causing harm to Mr Rinker.

However the jury found him guilty of both charges by unanimous decision in May after almost eight hours of deliberations over three days.

The court heard today that Mr Rinker was fortunate not to have lost his life having been stabbed several times.

In addition, he suffered post-traumatic stress disorder and both physical and psychological scarring.

The court heard previously that Mr Heinrich had sustained three fatal stab wounds and was bleeding heavily from his stomach before the fire brigade were called and he was removed from the scene.

State Pathologist Professor Marie Cassidy said the cause of death was a stab wound to the abdomen, hemorrhage and shock due to blood loss.

Mr Justice Barry White said that sight is often lost of the fact that the victim has parents.

In this case, he said that Thomas Heinrich was an only child and that the suffering of his parents was ‘likely to persist for the rest of their lives’.

Mr Justice White said that both men had ‘blighted’ their own lives and they would henceforth be known as killers.

He reminded both that this would adversely effect future employment prospects for them. 

He said that the 17-year-old who cannot be named because of his age was ‘fueled with drink’ and was the ‘ringleader and instigator’.

He told the court that the Director of Public Prosecutions had urged that these offences were at the upper range of seriousness.

Mr Justice White said that the aggravating factors were the nature of the offences themselves including the use of knives and the element of premeditation. However, he said that a mitigating factor was the ages of the guilty parties and their previous good character.

In a victim impact statement read to the court yesterday, the parents of the deceased described ‘crippling depression’ they were suffering as a result of the ‘sudden violent death’ of their son.

The parents of the deceased, Wolfgang and Alexandra Thom Heinrich today said that they are ‘relieved that this chapter is closed’ describing Thomas as a bright young man who was very sociable.

“He (Thomas) made many friends back at home as well as here. He was very helpful and very much against violence.”

“We are now at the stage where we have to re-invent our lives and go forward and do something different.”

Mr and Mrs Heinrich said that an important part of their life going forward is the scholarship they set up with Griffith College, which they describe as a ‘living memorial’ of their son Thomas. 

Parents of the deceased said that they had nothing but praise for the gardai and the justice system adding that the incident doesn’t reflect on Ireland.

Online Editors

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