Saturday 20 January 2018

Man admits killing Melanie (16) in drive-by shooting

Melanie McCarthy McNamara, who was killed in a drive-by shooting in Tallaght
Melanie McCarthy McNamara, who was killed in a drive-by shooting in Tallaght

Eimear Cotter

A YOUNG man has admitted to the unlawful killing of Melanie McCarthy McNamara in a drive-by shooting.

Keith Hall (24) shot the 16-year-old girl in the head with a sawn-off shotgun as she sat in a car at Brookview Way in Tallaght.

The teenager was gunned down as she sat in the back of the car with her boyfriend and another man on February 8, 2012.

She died a short time later in hospital.

Gardai believe she was not the intended target of the attack.

Hall, with an address at Kilmartin Drive in Tallaght, admitted before the Central Criminal Court this morning to the manslaughter of Ms McCarthy McNamara, a 16-year-old Traveller girl.

Hall was originally charged with her murder but the DPP accepted a guilty plea to the lesser charge of manslaughter on the eve of the trial.

A large number of Melanie's family and friends, many of the women wearing hot pink t-shirts with her face on the front, were packed into the courtroom number six in the Criminal Courts of Justice.

Her mother started to cry when Hall admitted to the unlawful killing of her daughter. Volunteers from the Victim Support Service were in court to comfort her.

Hall, who appeared in court dressed in a purple and white stripped shirt and trousers, replied "not guilty of murder, guilty of manslaughter" when the charge was put to him.

The State said that in the particular circumstances of the case they were willing to accept a plea of manslaughter.

Mr Justice Paul Carney ordered a victim impact report.

The judge remanded Hall in custody to July 31 for sentencing.

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