Tuesday 20 March 2018

Man guilty of stab killing in row over €100 debt

William Gilsenan. Photo: Collins Courts
William Gilsenan. Photo: Collins Courts

Eoin Reynolds

A man who killed a drug dealer following an argument over a €100 debt has been found guilty of his manslaughter.

William Gilsenan (24) had pleaded not guilty to the murder of Edward Fitzgerald (29) in a car park outside the killer's home on Oscar Traynor Road, Santry, Dublin 17.

The jury found him not guilty of Mr Fitzgerald's murder but convicted him of his manslaughter following a 10-day trial at the Central Criminal Court.

The trial heard that Gilsenan owed Mr Fitzgerald €100.

Witnesses Dillon Mahady and Charles Brodigan said it was a drug debt but in interviews with gardaí, Gilsenan said the debt was for cash, although he had bought drugs from Mr Fitzgerald in the past.

Matters came to a head on October 17, 2014 when Mr Fitzgerald drove to Gilsenan's home and confronted him in the car park, demanding his money.

The two men argued, with Gilsenan saying Mr Fitzgerald threatened him and warned him that he would smash up his flat. That argument ended without any physical confrontation as Gilsenan went to his apartment.

Mr Brodigan told the trial they wanted to smoke a joint but they couldn't find any cigarette papers so they decided to go to a friend nearby.

Gilsenan told gardaí he picked up a knife before leaving his apartment, but that he did not intend to use it. When he went outside Mr Fitzgerald was still in his car and started making threats.

The court heard Gilsenan was hit by the deceased. The accused then went to the driver's side door and a scuffle broke out between Mr Fitzgerald and Gilsenan.

After a few seconds of a struggle, Gilsenan produced the knife and stabbed Mr Fitzgerald twice.

Before beginning their deliberations, Justice Paul Butler told the jury that they had three possible verdicts open to them. They could find Gilsenan guilty of murder, not guilty of murder but guilty of manslaughter, or not guilty.

The jury of seven women and five men took two hours and 35 minutes to come to their unanimous verdict.

Gilsenan was remanded in custody for sentencing on January 12, when Mr Fitzgerald's family will make a statement to the court.

Irish Independent

Today's news headlines, directly to your inbox every morning.

Editor's Choice

Also in Irish News