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Father of one is jailed for killing teenager in bar fight

A 41-year-old man who killed a young man in a bar on an island off the Donegal coast has been jailed -- but he is likely to be free before the end of next year.

Last February, a Central Criminal Court jury found Stephen Boyle not guilty of the murder but guilty of the manslaughter of Paul Boyle (19, no relation) at Earlys Bar, Leabgarrow, Arranmore, on October 3, 2009.

Boyle, of Austen House, Cambridge Road, Kilburn Park, London, denied murder but pleaded guilty to manslaughter.

During the trial the court heard that the father of one stabbed Paul Boyle in the neck with a glass after a row involving a number of people at around 2.30am on the night in question.

Paul Boyle, who had celebrated his 19th birthday just three weeks earlier, was brought to the mainland by lifeboat but he died in Letterkenny Hospital at 10.20am on October 3.

Yesterday, Mr Justice Patrick McCarthy sentenced Boyle to six years in prison. However, he backdated it to October 2009 for time already spent in custody. With time off for good behaviour, he is likely to be free before the end of next year.

He noted that the accused had pleaded guilty to man-slaughter which dilutes the imposition on the prosecution.

Judge McCarthy said Boyle had a number of previous convictions of a minor nature but said he would disregard them in relation to sentencing.

He also noted that Paul Boyle's family went through a great deal of trauma and that his parents were particularly traumatised.

He took account of a psychiatric report, which said Boyle was of minimal risk of reoffending. He also noted that a defence of diminished responsibility was used during the trial but that the jury didn't accept it.

Counsel for the defendant, Michael O'Higgins, had previously asked Mr Justice McCarthy to impose as lenient a sentence as possible but accepted it had to be custodial.

Vincent Heneghan, prosecuting, earlier told the court that the prosecution did not accept that there was minimal risk of reoffending but that it accepted the decision of the jury.

Irish Independent