A MAN who bludgeoned a mother of three to death on Easter Sunday last year, was jailed for 10 years yesterday.
Derrick Daly (48), originally from Enfield, Co Meath, but with an address at St Vincent's Hostel in Cork city, was convicted in June at the Central Criminal Court of the manslaughter of Catherine Smart at Bailick Court, Midleton, Co Cork on April 4, 2010. He denied the 58-year-old's murder.
Alcoholic Daly met Mrs Smart when he drank in Midleton pubs. She was separated from her husband, and Daly moved in with her a year and a half prior to the killing.
On the morning of April 4, 2010, gardai responding to a phone call from Daly found her face down in her living room. He said he was locked out and thought there was someone dead inside. Mrs Smart suffered several injuries to her head.
Gardai believed Daly used a bloodstained hurley they found broken in two pieces, and a microwave to inflict the injuries.
He was in an intoxicated state and had been drinking for days prior to the incident. He initially denied he was even in the house, but eventually admitted the killing although he could not recall the events.
In her victim impact statement to the court, Mrs Smart's daughter Mary Kaey, a mother-of-two, described her as "kind, caring, loving and supportive" and "a great mother and grandmother".
She said her death had had a devastating impact on her family, and it was"increasingly difficult and heartbreaking" to come to terms with.
Mrs Kaey said her children had to watch her fall apart and start drinking, without the support of their grandmother.
She had been prescribed anti-depressants and sleeping tablets, while her children were also unable to sleep and she often found them in bed crying for their granny.
Mr Justice Garrett Sheehan said the appropriate sentence was 13 years, but was suspending the final three having regard to the three main mitigating factors of Daly's plea of guilty to manslaughter at the outset of the trial, his remorse and apology to the family, and the fact that alcohol abuse had negatively impacted his life.
As Daly was led away, Mrs Smart's sister Ann Vaughan, who was present throughout the trial said: "How could you do that to my sister?".
Daly, who gave no reaction when sentenced, did not reply.
The sentence was backdated to May 2010.