Saturday 23 March 2019

Man (20) 'weeps' in court as he's charged with manslaughter of Kerry man

Christian Fleming (20), of Mount Lyne in Killorglin, Co Kerry at Killarney District Court. Photo: Michelle Cooper Galvin
Christian Fleming (20), of Mount Lyne in Killorglin, Co Kerry at Killarney District Court. Photo: Michelle Cooper Galvin

Sinéad Kelleher

A 20-year man appeared in court this morning charged with the manslaughter of a man in Co Kerry last weekend.

Christian Fleming, of Mount Lyne in Killorglin, Co Kerry, was charged with manslaughter of Stephen O'Connor just after midnight and was brought before Killarney District Court at 10.30am this morning.

Mr O'Connor (32), of Glencar, Co Kerry, died after suffering fatal injuries in a suspected assault in the early hours of Sunday morning last at Main Street, Killorglin.

Mr Fleming, who wept during proceedings, was granted bail, despite the state objecting to bail given the seriousness of the crime.

The late Stephen O'Connor
The late Stephen O'Connor

Sgt Micheal Quirke outlined the state's objections to bail, which included the nature and strength of the evidence, which the court heard included CCTV and witnesses statements, and the likely sentence on conviction of life imprisonment.

Gardaí also claimed that he posed a danger to the community given the nature of the alleged crime.

Defence solicitor, Brendan Ahern, argued that Mr Fleming posed no flight risk and was not likely to interfere with witnesses, which gardaí conceded.

The court was told that Mr Fleming was co-operative during a search of his home on Sunday morning and that he presented himself to gardaí yesterday by appointment and was interviewed four times before being arrested and charged with the offence at 12.23am on February 15.

He made no reply to the charge.

Mr Ahern said his client had put forward a certain defence to the charge during interviews. He also said that he had concerns about the clarity of the CCTV.

Judge David Waters said Mr Ahern was not to go in to specifics of evidence.

The court heard that Mr Fleming, whose family was in court, is a bar-tender in a Killarney hotel and comes from a good family. Mr Ahern said that a cash lodgment could be made to alleviate garda concerns.

Judge David Waters said that Mr Fleming was entitled to bail on strict conditions including that he observe a curfew from 11pm to 8am when working and from 8pm to 8am when not working. He also warned him to have no direct or indirect contact with the victim's family or witnesses in the case and be of sober habits.

He must also sign on daily from 9am to 9pm, surrender his passport and give an undertaking not to apply for any travel documents.

He must also reside at Mount Lyne, Killorglin and within 48 hours provide a new number to gardaí as his phone has been seized.

Mr Fleming lodged €2,000 of a cash bond to the court and will appear again at Killarney District Court on Tuesday next, February 19.

Mr O'Connor's funeral was held place this morning in Glencar.

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