Monday 23 October 2017

Man who killed two children and two adults in stab frenzy gets four life sentences

Reece (3) and Amy Hines (five months) who were murdered along with their mother Sarah and her friend Alicia Brough, in a house in Newcastlewest, Co Limerick
Reece (3) and Amy Hines (five months) who were murdered along with their mother Sarah and her friend Alicia Brough, in a house in Newcastlewest, Co Limerick
John Geary
Murder victims Sarah Hines and her son Reece
Sarah Hines
Sarah Hines with her son Reece
Sarah Hines

Sam Griffin

A MAN who murdered his former partner, their baby daughter, a three-year-old boy and another woman has been handed down four life sentences.

John Geary (37), who appeared before the Central Criminal Court earlier today, is likely to spend the rest of his life behind bars.

Geary, with an address at Meadow Court, Newcastle West, Limerick, pleaded guilty to all charges.

Sarah Hines (25), her two children Reese (3), five-month-old baby daughter Amy, and her friend Alicia Brough (20) were stabbed to death at Sarah’s rented home in Hazelbrook, Newcastle, Limerick in November 2010.

A range of kitchen implements, including knives, were used to carry out the horrific violent deaths.

As Geary was led from the Central Criminal Court to begin serving his four life sentences, a family member of the one of the victims shouted “you dirty scab”

Geary killed his former partner Sarah Hines (25) on the night of November 15, 2010, shortly after their relationship had ended.

Sarah's stepfather Peter said the impact of the deaths was "catastrophic on the family".

Geary, who was unemployed at the time and had previously been treated for panic attacks, struggled to come to terms with the break-up.

He confronted Ms Hines in her Newcastle home where she had been living with her friend Alicia Brough.

Geary stabbed Ms Hines and Ms Brough as well as his five-month-old daughter Amy and three-year-old Reese before leaving the scene.

Hours after the brutal murders, Geary rang a friend from a public payphone and told him what he had done.

He confided to the friend that he had “done something terrible”.

The friend in turn informed a retired Garda which led to a massive hunt for Geary.

Gardai traced the payphone call to Kilkee, Co Clare, more than 100km from the murder scene in Limerick.

Upon their arrival there, they found Geary drinking in a bar, some 36 hours after he committed the four murders.

He was arrested and later taken to the Midwestern Hospital in Limerick where he was treated for lacerations to his arm.

It is understood he sustained the injuries after his victims fought back in their final moments.

He was charged with the four murders the following day.

He appeared before the Central Criminal Court last month and a trial was scheduled.

However, counsel for the accused man, Hugh Hartnett SC, told Mr Justice Paul Carney that a jury would not be required.

Geary then entered a plea of guilty on all four counts read to him by the court registrar.

Sarah Hines is survived by her mother, Abina and seven younger brothers; Adam, Ben, Lewis, Josh, Jessie, Damien and Chris.

The family are originally from Essex.

Alicia Brough was born in Staffordshire, England, and spent her childhood there before coming to Ireland with her family around six years before she was murdered.

Online Editors

Editor's Choice

Also in Irish News