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Murderer's family apologises, saying they were in fear of their 'evil' father

Daughter is 'disgusted' after dad's victim dismembered

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Paul Wells Jr. PIC: Collins Courts

Paul Wells Jr. PIC: Collins Courts

Amy Wells. PIC: Collins Courts

Amy Wells. PIC: Collins Courts

Eimear Dunne. PIC: Collins Courts

Eimear Dunne. PIC: Collins Courts

Kenneth O'Brien

Kenneth O'Brien

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Paul Wells Jr. PIC: Collins Courts

The daughter of murderer Paul Wells Snr, who dismembered the body of Kenneth O'Brien and dumped it in a suitcase in the Grand Canal, has said her family are "devastated and disgusted" at what their father did and that it does not represent who they are.

Speaking during her brother Paul Wells Jnr's sentence hearing at the Central Criminal Court yesterday, Amy Wells said her brother wished to offer an apology to the O'Brien family if his actions caused them any distress, as this was never his intention.

"We are normal, decent people who are of good moral standing. As a family we stand with you in grieving for Kenneth and pray for him every day," said Ms Wells.

She hoped people could see the courage it took for him to go to gardaí given how "evil" their father could be, she said.

"We as a family are so sorry for not coming forward sooner to help with the investigation. We allowed fear to dictate our emotions," she added.

However, Kenneth O'Brien's father told the court in his victim impact statement that the "inaction" of Wells Jnr in coming forward to gardaí enabled his son's murderer to attend his funeral. "There are no words which can describe how we feel about this," he said.

"To be told that our beloved Ken was dismembered and dumped into the canal like unwanted items or rubbish was so horrific, it is hard to articulate," he added.

Mr O'Brien said: "Not only did Paul Wells Jnr suspect, and then have confirmed by a confession from his father of what happened to Kenneth, he had discussed it with other members of his family.

"This discussion led to a family decision of not coming forward, which in turn led to Ken's murderer being at large for weeks."

Wells Jnr (33) was found guilty last November of impeding the apprehension or prosecution of his father Wells Snr (51), who carried out the murder and dumped the victim's body parts in the Grand Canal.

Wells Jnr, of Beatty Park, Celbridge, Co Kildare, had denied disposing of a chainsaw motor at a time unknown between January 19 and 20, 2016, in Co Kildare.

He also pleaded not guilty to disposing of a chainsaw blade and chain on January 20, 2016, in the same location.

Wells Snr, of Barnamore Park, Finglas, Dublin, was jailed for life in 2018, having been found guilty of murdering Mr O'Brien at his home in Finglas on January 15 or 16, 2016.

Wells Snr admitted that, after shooting the 33-year-old father in his back garden, he dismembered his body and dumped it in a suitcase in the Grand Canal.

Wells Jnr will be sentenced next week and his barrister asked the judge for a fully suspended sentence.

The trial heard that Wells Jnr disposed of the blood-stained chainsaw, which had a piece of "brown meat" embedded in its motor.

It was the prosecution's case that the defendant did so knowing his father had taken a life.

The father-of-three told gardaí he did not know the chainsaw had been used to dismember Mr O'Brien's body and insisted he was just "putting the jigsaw together" when he threw the motor into the Royal Canal in Maynooth, Co Kildare.

He maintained throughout his interviews that he did not try to hinder the investigation and was afraid his father, who he described as a "glorified criminal", would shoot him.

The trial heard that Wells Snr was a "very violent" man, who in the past had tried to get the defendant to carry explosives and join the IRA.

The trial also heard that Wells Jnr went on his stag party to Latvia with his father just days after Wells Snr had dismembered the victim.

Irish Independent