Tuesday 20 February 2018

Ex-soldier guilty of manslaughter of Athlone prostitute

Jimmy Devaney
Jimmy Devaney

Brian Kavanagh

A retired member of the defence forces has been acquitted of murdering a prostitute four years ago - but found guilty of her manslaughter.

Father-of-three, Jimmy Devaney (67), of Millbrook Avenue, Monksland, Athlone, had pleaded not guilty at the Central Criminal Court to murdering Marie Greene in Westmeath on February 13, 2011.

But the jury of six women and five men returned a unanimous verdict of not guilty of murder but guilty of manslaughter after four hours and 23 minutes of deliberation. Ms Justice Margaret Heneghan adjourned sentencing until November 2 and remanded Devaney in custody.

The court heard Marie Greene, who was working as a prostitute, was last seen alive on the evening on February 13, 2011, and her body was discovered nine days later in Anagorta Bog outside Athlone.

State Pathologist, Professor Marie Cassidy, said the deceased had suffered six stab wounds to the trunk. There were multiple wounds to the head and neck.

It was the State's case that Devaney murdered Marie Greene because she had been blackmailing him for money or she would tell his wife.

He told gardaí in an interview that he stabbed her several times because he lost control, but said that she had brought the knife to the scene. Devaney said that she had blackmailed him for up to 15 years and that he had given her sums of up to €40,000 and €20,000 in the previous six months.

He told gardaí that he met up with her and drove out to Anagorta Bog near Ballykieran to talk to her, but she was threatening to get her brothers after him. Devaney told gardaí he lost control during a struggle and "just kept stabbing" her.

The court heard evidence that two other unnamed men told Gardaí they had been blackmailed by Ms Greene. The court heard she had 50 previous convictions.

Alex Owens SC, prosecuting, said the killing was planned and pointed to a desire for revenge.

He told the jury Devaney had brought a knife to the scene and rang Ms Greene from a public phone box to arrange to meet when he had previously used his own phone when contacting her.

Mr Owens told the jury he had shown himself to be quite in control, having disposed of the body, and that he continued to play poker afterwards.

But the defence said the jury should look at the pathology evidence - which was consistent with a loss of control.

Irish Independent

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