Thursday 18 July 2019

One-punch killer is given five-year jail sentence for manslaughter

Guilty man 'sorry' for incident

Vytautas Racys
Vytautas Racys
Ian Begley

Ian Begley

A 35-year-old man, charged with the manslaughter of a father of three from Co Monaghan, has been sentenced to five years in prison.

Vytautas Racys, with an address at The Oak, Loughnaglack, Carrickmacross, had pleaded guilty to the unlawful killing of fitness instructor Seamus Bell on the Main Street of Carrickmacross on January 20, 2018.

Judge John Aylmer passed the sentence before the Circuit Criminal Court in Monaghan yesterday, with credit given to Mr Racys for the time he spent in custody.

Mr Bell had been out celebrating with his partner, Edel Tighe, and close family members following the christening of his twin daughters Cara and Ava when he suffered a one-punch assault from Mr Racys.

The incident left the 35-year-old in a coma, but he died five months later on June 2, 2018 at Our Lady of Lourdes Hospital in Drogheda.

Mr Racys, a married father of two children from Lithuania, has been in custody at Cloverhill Prison in Dublin since the assault.

His solicitor, Damien Rudden, said at the time Mr Racys made no application for bail, telling him he was "sorry this incident occurred" and was willing to start his sentence immediately.

Last year, Ms Tighe's parents, Cyril and Noella, told the Irish Independent of the sequence of events that led to the attack on Mr Bell.

"We were all out having a great day. It was just perfect," said Noella. "We were in one pub in the town and Seamus was playing pool when this man came in and started creating a bit of trouble."

Cyril said: "He wanted the pool table and we didn't want any hassle so we left.

"Then, later, we were walking along the Main Street and we saw him coming towards us, and he seemed to recognise Seamus.

"He put out his arms as if to hug Seamus, it was as if he was kind of apologising for what happened in the pub earlier. Seamus must have thought that if he went with the hug it would just calm the situation, but as he stretched out his arms, the other man just threw a punch at him."

"Seamus fell backwards and his head hit the footpath, and he was knocked out cold.

"I couldn't believe the sound of it."

Irish Independent

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