Thursday 13 December 2018

Murderer 'went shopping' after brutal stabbing

Leo Carolan
Leo Carolan

Isabel Hayes

A court heard how a murderer went on a shopping spree and paid off a credit union loan after a brutal attack on a Dublin student.

Charles Cleary (24) has been sentenced to life in prison for murdering Leo Carolan (25), who was 'saving the life' of a friend. Cleary, of no fixed abode but from the Rathfarnham area, had been motivated by robbery when he killed him and left another man fighting for his life.

He pleaded guilty at the Central Criminal Court to the murder of Mr Carolan at the flat on the South Circular Road on October 4, 2016, and to the attempted murder of Swiss student Ludovic Thomas (26) on the same occasion.

Detective Inspector David Harrington said Mr Carolan was a student of creative music at IADT, Dún Laoghaire, who spoke fluent French. Mr Thomas was his friend, while Cleary was 'a passing acquaintance'.

Det-Insp Harrington said Mr Thomas had arranged to visit Mr Carolan on October 4, and Cleary was there. Mr Thomas had €14,000 that he had withdrawn from a bank and asked Mr Carolan for an envelope.

Cleary decided to steal the cash, picked up a knife and stabbed Mr Thomas around his abdomen and mouth. Mr Carolan was attacked, suffering 12 stab wounds, which severed his jugular vein and went through his heart and both lungs.

The defendant took the money and went to Camden Street in a 'bloody condition'. He got shoes and clothes there before going to Dundrum to shop. He socialised with friends and paid off his credit union loan the next morning, before taking the ferry to Holyhead. He was arrested and eventually admitted his crimes, saying he was governed by 'a sudden impulse'.

Justice Patrick McCarthy imposed the mandatory life sentence for the murder and 15 years for the attempted murder.

Mr Carolan's mother Catherine said in an emotional victim impact statement: "He was exceptional. He always hoped for a better world for mankind."

Irish Independent

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