Friday 15 December 2017

We're living the life sentence, says mum who lost two sons

Natasha Reid

A MOTHER yesterday told how she hopes the woman who helped her son's killer never loses a child.

Ann Sharkey -- who has lost two sons to violent deaths -- was speaking after the 24-year-old Meath woman was jailed for five years for helping her son David Sharkey's killer to dispose of his body.

Sinead Geraghty of Parkview, Blackcastle, Navan, Co Meath, was caught on CCTV camera helping Stephen Penrose to bundle the body of David Sharkey into the boot of the victim's BMW, after Penrose had stabbed him to death in her apartment.

Geraghty -- who pleaded guilty at the Central Criminal Court to assisting an offender -- then cleaned up the crime scene while Penrose drove the body to Dublin.

The pair had lured Mr Sharkey to the apartment to buy heroin from him. However, Penrose had planned to steal it and when his plan went wrong, he stabbed his victim 13 times.

He was found guilty of manslaughter after being tried for murder earlier this year and was jailed for nine years.

Ann Sharkey told the court that this was the second violent death suffered by her family. Her 18-year-old son, Simon, was stabbed to death at a party in 2005.

"Our family, as a group, have been unable to bear the burden of two such tragic losses," she said. "Myself and my husband feel that it is no longer worth living our lives. We feel that we are living a life sentence ourselves and we are unable to break free from it."

She said the pain and fear her first-born son must have felt as he was stabbed to death in Geraghty's apartment caused her much sorrow.

She said that the way his body was treated also caused the family much grief and hurt.

"He was treated like an animal and thrown into the boot of his own car and taken to Dublin where he was to be burned," she said.

She said her other children had not been able to come to terms with the loss of their brother and that her husband's severe depression and high blood pressure had been exacerbated by the killing.

She said that her son was a hard-working and loving father and that his family had no idea of his involvement in drugs until after his death.

He adored his eight-year-old daughter but did not live to see his second daughter's birth.

Justice

Mr Justice Paul Carney imposed a seven-year sentence but suspended two years due to Geraghty's guilty plea, lack of previous convictions and good use of her time in prison so far.

Mrs Sharkey said afterwards that they had not got justice for their son.

"We're living the life sentence. They're going to get out. That's the annoying part," she said. "They get away with everything and we're left to carry on. You expect your children to bury their parents, not the other way around," she added. "It's every mother's nightmare."

She said finally that she hoped Geraghty would not suffer the same fate as her. "I hope when Sinead does get out and when she has a family of her own she remembers us," she said.

Irish Independent

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