Sunday 18 August 2019

We can never forgive killer of 'gentle giant' David, say his family

Gardai at the scene of the death on Rathsallagh Park, Shankill, Co Dublin. Inset: Victim David Spain
Gardai at the scene of the death on Rathsallagh Park, Shankill, Co Dublin. Inset: Victim David Spain
Eamon Kavanagh leaving court yesterday

Anne Sharkey

A Dublin man is due to be sentenced next month for the manslaughter of a man described by his family as a "gentle giant".

Wayne Kennedy (34) was charged with murdering David Spain (26) on December 26, 2013 as well as intentionally or recklessly causing serious harm to Sean Turner on the same date.

Last July, Mr Kennedy pleaded not guilty at the Central Criminal Court to both counts.

A jury unanimously found Mr Kennedy not guilty of the second count to intentionally or recklessly cause serious harm to Sean Turner.

They reached a majority verdict of 11 to one that Mr Kennedy was not guilty of murder but guilty of manslaughter.

"The background is that it commenced on Christmas evening December 25, 2013," prosecution counsel Mr Paddy McCarthy SC told the Central Criminal Court yesterday.


"Members had arrived at the house of the late David Spain at Rathsallagh Park and stayed there playing darts and having a few drinks. At 4 or 5am there were texts between Sean Turner and Wayne Kennedy - Mr Kennedy was looking for €50," he said.

"A straightener was arranged between both with plans for them to meet on the green - Mr Turner left to go to that fight (with two others). Three of them went towards Mr Kennedy's house," he said.

"Mr Turner saw him (Mr Kennedy) come from the house. Mr Turner picked up a stone and threw it at Mr Kennedy," he said.

"Mr Turner and Mr Kennedy faced up to each other," he added.

The court heard previously that Sean Turner received two knife wounds, which were "potentially fatal".

The trial heard that Mr Turner ran back in the direction of Mr Spain's house shouting that he had been stabbed.

It was the State's case that Mr Spain ran after Wayne Kennedy and a fight followed. Mr McCarthy said previously that the deceased threw a number of punches at Wayne Kennedy, who had a knife in his right hand and stabbed the deceased six times.

Taking to the stand yesterday, Detective Garda Kieran Murphy described the deceased as "extremely popular".

"He was 26 years of age - he was well loved, well liked and extremely popular," he said.

He told the court that Mr Kennedy lives at home with his mother, and has sole custody of his son.

He said that Mr Kennedy was unemployed at the time and that he had nine previous convictions for threatening and abusive behaviour, assault causing harm and drunk driving.

"It (the fight) was between Mr Turner and Mr Kennedy - Mr Spain had nothing to do with it. He (Mr Spain) heard a stabbing had taken place and went out as a helpful friend," he said.

Counsel for the defence Remy Farrell said that CCTV footage of the confrontation showed Mr Kennedy running away from Mr Spain.

"Footage showed Mr Kennedy putting a parked car between himself and those pursuing him," he said. "The entirety of the fight shows Mr Kennedy moving away from Mr Spain," he added.

A victim impact statement was delivered to the court by an uncle of Mr Spain, Mr Eamonn Kavanagh, who asked "why us - we don't deserve this pain, grief and heartache".

"Our lives are destroyed forever - our daily struggle is trying so hard not to replay these horrifying images," he said.

Mr Kavanagh described the "sadness, anger and hatred" they were experiencing.

He added that "David will be remembered as a gentle giant".

"We will never forgive Wayne Kennedy for killing David - we will never forget Dave and he will live on in each of us until we take our final breaths," he concluded.

Mr Justice Patrick McCarthy remanded Wayne Kennedy, with an address at Rathsallagh Park in Shankill, Co Dublin, in custody until December 7 when he is due to be sentenced.

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