Man killed mother when free because of blunder by gardaí
A man who murdered his mother should have been in custody at the time but was free because of a garda blunder, a report by the Garda Siochana Ombudsman Commission (GSOC) has found.
Celyn Eadon (22) who stabbed his mother Noreen Kelly 19 times while high on drugs was jailed for life in February 2014.
Justice Minister Frances Fitzgerald yesterday published a report by GSOC into the case which found that Eadon, who was facing road traffic charges, should have been in custody at the time of the killing.
Eadon was arrested on February 2, 2011, on foot of two bench warrants and was brought before Castlebar District Court. An application was made that he should be remanded in custody and presiding judge, Judge Mary Devins, remanded him to Castlebar Prison to appear before Harristown District Court two days later. No application for bail was made.
On February 4, 2011, Eadon appeared before Harristown District Court in relation to 17 separate summonses. He made an application for bail, which was granted, however he didn't enter into the bail conditions and was further remanded in custody to appear before Castlebar District Court on February 16. However, GSOC found that there was some confusion as to the validity of the warrant. It is not known what happened to the warrant.
On that date he was granted bail and left the court with his mother.
Several weeks later on March 9 he attacked his 46-year-old mother at the home at Derrycrieve, Islandeady, Castlebar, Co Mayo, after she burned drugs belonging to him.
In its conclusion, GSOC says: "Instances wherein serious crimes are committed by persons unlawfully at liberty or regarded as being unjustifiably at liberty, damages confidence in the Garda Síochána and in such instances, questions are also asked of the other criminal justice agencies."
The report recommends that An Garda Siochana and the Irish Prison Service formalise arrangements relating to the escort of remand prisoners by gardai.
"This is an area where there should be clarity as to roles and responsibilities, where procedures should be effective and consistent and where there should be accountability," it said.
Publishing the report, Ms Fitzgerald said: "This is an important report and includes valuable and constructive recommendations to address the deficiencies GSOC has identified."