'Look-out' gets eight years after man beaten to death
A man who kept look-out while a dad-of-eight was beaten and shot to death has been jailed for eight years.
Ross Allen, a father of two, from Clara, Co Offaly was found not guilty of murder but guilty of manslaughter last month for his part in the killing of Christy Daly on December 29, 2013. The 47-year-old was killed beside the caravan where he lived at Bog Lane in Clara.
Allen, who was born suffering the ill-effects of hard drugs, had spent five weeks on trial at the Central Criminal Court.
Mr Justice Patrick McCarthy noted yesterday morning that he had been prosecuted for murder on the premise that he was engaged in a common purpose to kill. However, the jury was not satisfied that he was, and he said that the case was to be regarded as an assault manslaughter.
The deceased began living in a caravan on Bog Lane. Unbeknownst to him, the accused hid €30,000 worth of cannabis in the area for people involved in serious gangland activity. He noted that the drugs had gone missing and the blame was put on the deceased.
The accused said he was afraid of being blamed and feared for his life.
Allen co-operated on the night in what he knew would be violence. He collected the car used, had a meeting before the attack and recovered a sawn-off shotgun. He made admissions when arrested, but did not identify the murderers.
The judge said that Allen undoubtedly had an extremely troubled life. The judge described his offence as very grave because of the use of firearms, and that violence was to be inflicted by people engaged in serious criminal activity.
Justice McCarthy said his degree of culpability was high.
He imposed a 10-year sentence, but suspended the final two years on condition he keep the peace, be of good behaviour and co-operate with the probation services for four years following his release. He backdated the sentence for 15 months, the time he has served.