Wednesday 11 December 2019

Farmer who killed man with teleporter gets four more years in jail

Michael Ferris’s sentence was increased. Photo: Domnick Walsh
Michael Ferris’s sentence was increased. Photo: Domnick Walsh

Ralph Riegel

A Kerry farmer who killed his neighbour by ramming his car with the prongs of a teleporter agri-machine has had his manslaughter sentence increased by four years at the Court of Appeal.

The Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) had challenged the five-year prison term handed to Michael Ferris (64) as "unduly lenient". The Court of Appeal, sitting in Cork for the first time, ruled that the Central Criminal Court sentence required intervention and replaced it with a nine-year prison term.

Mr Justice George Birmingham said that the suspension of part of the sentence was inappropriate and pointed out there had been "a degree of pre-consideration.... and pre-meditation" involved.

"Taking that with the gross level of violence involved it has to be placed at the high end of the manslaughter case (scale). Here, there was an intention to kill," he said.

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Mr Justice Birmingham said the original six-year sentence with 12 months suspended did not "reflect the enormity" of what happened.

The 64-year-old was acquitted of the murder of Anthony O'Mahony on April 4, 2017. He was instead convicted of manslaughter.

The 73-year-old died from horrific internal injuries when the prongs of an agri-teleporter were repeatedly driven into his car by Ferris at Rattoo, outside Ballyduff, Co Kerry.

The incident followed a simmering row over the noise from a bird-scaring device.

Irish Independent

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