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'The despair we live with every day without is intolerable' - Dean Evans jailed for life for murder of Peter Butterly

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Dean Evans will serve life in prison for murdering Peter Butterly

Dean Evans will serve life in prison for murdering Peter Butterly

Dean Evans will serve life in prison for murdering Peter Butterly

Dean Evans has been given a mandatory life sentence at the Special Criminal Court for the murder of Peter Butterly on March 6 2013 in Gormanston.

He had pleaded guilty after being arrested in Spain while on the run.

Mr Butterly's sister-in-law Deirdre read a victim impact statement on behalf of his wife Eithne, telling the court today about the "deep trauma" her family has faced since his death.

She said today: "You have no concept, nor most possibly ever could, of the pain, suffering, deep trauma and immense challenges that "we" have to endure every day as a family and community.

"The despair we live with every day without Peter is intolerable.

"You took Peter away from us in the most cruel, cowardly, cold, evil manner - "How Dare You. We wake up every morning without him, to a living nightmare.

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Murder victim Peter Butterly

Murder victim Peter Butterly

Murder victim Peter Butterly

"For those listening to this 'from the heart' summary of our pain. How would you feel or deal with someone taking your child, husband, father, brother etc. from you in this callous manner? Just take a second to try and imagine the pain we are going through?"

She continued to say: "When you were planning Peter's murder. Did you consider how I was going to tell his three young children Aoife, Ciara, baby Mathew and the impact of his murder on them?

"Having to tell them that their Daddy was dead and never coming home again? I imagine that you didn't?

"Nor did you consider the devastation that you were going to deliberately inflict on these innocent children.

"No child should have to endure the constant deep pain and suffering that our children do on a daily basis. You made a conscious decision to take Peter's precious life and to take him away from us. Is life in our society not precious to you?

"Peter was not just my husband and best friend. He was my protector, my stability, my guide and my rock.

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"On the 6th of March 2013, the day you murdered Peter you also took a massive piece of me too that can never be replaced.

"As you sit there, 5 years - 4 months - 25 days later. Ask yourself one question: 'For what?'"

Two men are already serving life sentences for the murder, after being found guilty in March this year.

Edward McGrath (35), of Land Dale Lawns, Springfield, Tallaght and Sharif Kelly (47), of Pinewood Green Road, Balbriggan had both denied the murder.

Three other men are due to go on trial later this year on the same charge.

Evans was due to go on trial in January 2017, but failed to show up, sparking a manhunt by gardai. He was arrested in Spain last April after Irish authorities issued a European Arrest Warrant. He consented to his surrender and was arrested on his arrival at Dublin Airport.

At the trial of McGrath and Kelly last year Justice Tony Hunt described Butterly's murder as "callous, brutal and premeditated". During the 31-day trial the court heard that the car used in the shooting, a stolen silver Toyota Corolla, was being watched by members of the National Surveillance Unit.

Gardai observed the Corolla drive past the Huntsman Inn before making a U-turn and returning to the pub, entering ​the​ carpark.

The driver, McGrath, was wearing a black wig. Dean Evans was "crouched" in the back seat, behind McGrath. The window was rolled down.

Witnesses then reported hearing gunshots.

One woman, who lived opposite the pub, saw a man holding a small black handgun. A student waiting at a nearby bus-stop saw two people sprinting away from a car. One was chasing the other. The second man raised an arm and shot the first man.

The court was satisfied, Mr Justice Hunt said, that Mr Butterly was "shot in the carpark by means of a gun fired by Dean Evans".

Mr Evans, he added, was driven to and from the scene by McGrath.

"It was an ambush by people who expected Mr Butterly would be present in the carpark," he said, adding that the shooting had required a "considerable degree of forethought".

More to follow...


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