Sunday 18 March 2018

Man who stabbed former partner is on the run for Thai prostitute murder

Rose Kenny’s brother Paul and daughter Jamie speak to the media outside the Central Criminal Court in Dublin yesterday. Photo: Collins Courts
Rose Kenny’s brother Paul and daughter Jamie speak to the media outside the Central Criminal Court in Dublin yesterday. Photo: Collins Courts

Cathal McMahon & Alison O'Riordan

A man who launched a "vicious" knife attack on his ex partner is wanted in Thailand for the murder of a prostitute who was knifed to death.

Denis Leahy (50), of Queen Street, Dublin 7, was charged with attempting to murder Rose Kenny at School Street Flats, Dublin 8, on September 23, 2014.

Leahy pleaded guilty to the attempted murder of Rose Kenny after the case opened at the Central Criminal Court on June 22. He had previously pleaded guilty to intentionally or recklessly causing serious harm to Ms Kenny at the same address on the same date.

Yesterday Mr Justice Paul Butler jailed Leahy for 14 years at the Central Criminal Court in Dublin.

There was no mention made during the case about Leahy's suspected involvement in the frenzied knife murder of Bupha Tanchiangpin (24) in south east Thailand in 2006.

Her hands were tied behind her back and she had stab wounds to her back, chest and neck whose when she  was found in his apartment in Pattaya.

Denis Leahy, who was jailed for 14 years
Denis Leahy, who was jailed for 14 years

Leahy was arrested after he was stopped by Thailand police on his way to the Cambodian border.

Speaking from his prison cell at the time Leahy reportedly told the Irish Star "I killed her".

"I had a fight with my girlfriend that morning and I wanted to make her jealous."

Despite this, Leahy never faced charges over the murder and later turned up in Dublin.

He will not be extradited to Thailand as no treaty exists between the two countries.

His ex-partner Kenny (51) was walking from her home at School Street Flats when she was savagely attacked and stabbed multiple times in the body, neck and throat.

Vicitm Rose Kenny outside court last week Photo: Collins Courts.
Vicitm Rose Kenny outside court last week Photo: Collins Courts.

Mr Justice Paul Butler sentenced Leahy to 14 years imprisonment and backdated it to September 23, 2014.

"The lowest sentence I can impose on this case is 14 years. I considered a suspension but there is no basis on which to do so," he said.

He said the victim impact statement given by Ms Kenny last week was "so moving" that he had to adjourn sentencing until today to consider all the matters carefully.

He said the aggravating factors included the ferociousness of the attack and the injuries sustained to Ms Kenny.

"It was only thanks to the highly skillful medical intervention that Ms Kenny survived," he said.

The judge said the attack by Leahy was premeditated and had been planned "for at least a day." He also said there was a "lack of remorse" shown by the accused and the court considered the offence to be at the higher end of the scale.

The judge said the mitigating factors included the fact that the accused had "no relevant previous convictions".

"From an early stage, he admitted the facts and at a late stage he entered a plea to count one," he said.

The brother of Rose Kenny spoke on behalf of his sister outside court yesterday regarding the sentence handed down.

Paul Kenny said: "On behalf of Rose, we would like to thank our friends, family and the investigating team. Although we think no sentence would have been harsh enough, we are very pleased with the outcome and we now hope that Rose can get on with the rest of her life. It's a fairly stiff sentence but it's a terrible crime and we are glad the judge saw through everything."

Last week, Ms Kenny delivered an emotional victim impact statement to the court.

Afterwards speaking outside the Criminal Courts of Justice, the 51-year-old woman said the attack had "changed her completely".

"I've had to leave the area I grew up and worked in. I tried to go back to work but I just wasn't able for it. It has just completely changed my life and I don't trust the world the way I used to," she said.

The dedicated mother said she would forever have to live with the guilt that she had brought Leahy into her and her family's lives.

Ms Kenny said she sustained "multiple injuries" and "lacerations" to her neck, abdomen, back, shoulder and arm and is still recovering from her physical and mental scars.

She had been in a relationship with the accused for approximately five years in the late 1990s and early 2000s.

They had parted on reasonable terms but she had had no contact with Leahy for six years prior to the offence on September 23, 2014.

Irish Independent

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