Tuesday 21 November 2017

Dublin man found guilty of the murder of his uncle

Edward O'Connor
Edward O'Connor

Niamh O’Donoghue

A Dublin man who shot his uncle dead in the city will be sentenced to life imprisonment after being found guilty of his murder.

Father-of-one David Cully (24) had admitted killing Edward O’Connor but denied murdering him. The Central Criminal Court heard the 41-year-old died of two gunshot wounds to his back.

The jury of seven women and five men spent more than eight hours over three days deliberating before returning a unanimous verdict of guilty of murder.

Mr Justice Carroll Moran thanked the jury before excusing them from further service for a period of five years.

He remanded Cully in custody for sentencing on July 29 next when victim impact statements will be heard. He will be handed the mandatory life sentence for murder on that date.

Cully of Kilshane Road, Finglas West had pleaded not (NOT) guilty to murdering his uncle, but guilty to his manslaughter at Ballycoolin Road, Finglas West on December 15, 2013.

The 24-year-old claimed he shot Mr O’Connor ‘in the heat of the moment’ after he commented about somebody who had made an allegation of sexual abuse against the deceased.

The allegation was investigated, but the Director of Public Prosecutions had decided not to prosecute, the court heard.

The trial heard that both men had attended an organised ‘straightener’ between two other men on the day of the killing and that Cully shot his uncle in the back after the fight.

Cully told gardai that his uncle had made a comment that had caused him to lose control.

Both the deceased and the accused attended the fight in an open yard on the Sunday afternoon and David Cully brought a gun.

Mr Cully told gardai that after the fight, Mr O'Connor had made a remark about the person who had made the allegation against him. The accused said he ‘just lost it’ and had no intention of doing what he did.

"I don’t know why I did it or what came over to me, I just fired the gun at him," he said in interview. "Well I do know," he continued, explaining that he 'just had hatred towards him' since the allegation was made.

In it, he detailed his shooting of his uncle following an arranged fight between two other men. He said that his uncle had riled him up by making a comment about the complainant of the alleged sexual abuse.

Detectives read over the memo of the interview afterwards and asked him if he had anything to add.

“I’d like to apologise to all members of Edward O’Connor’s family,” he said through tears. “I’d like to apologise to yous guards as well. Thanks for treating me with respect.”

Cully’s lawyers put forward a defence of provocation because of the comment he said he heard his uncle say but this was rejected by the jury.

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