Fury as killer Martin Toland gets nine years
THE mother of a man stabbed to death in his own home has said she is "disgusted" after his killer yesterday got nine years for manslaughter.
Martin Toland (36) had previously been sentenced to life in prison for the murder of Alan Nolan (28) -- but the Court of Criminal Appeal overturned that conviction.
"There is no system. There is no justice system in this country. You can say one thing and next of all it's appealed," Marian Nolan said after two-and-a-half years of Toland's sentence was suspended.
"This is going to appeal again. What's he going to get, two weeks' holidays somewhere, a clap on the back and walk out and go and injure someone else's child?" she asked.
"I feel sorry for any family coming into this court looking for justice because they're not going to get it," she said. "We will never get over it. How can you get over that?"
Toland, a father of one, was last month found guilty of the manslaughter of Mr Nolan at his apartment in Cedar Brook Walk, Ballyfermot, Dublin on September 8, 2007.
He had denied his murder.
Toland was also sentenced to a concurrent seven years in prison for seriously injuring Mr Nolan's friend, James Carroll (32), on the same occasion.
He had denied that charge too, insisting he had stabbed both men in their hearts in self-defence.
Mr Justice Barry White said yesterday that the jury had not believed Toland's account of being threatened by the victims and acting in self-defence.
The jury had found him guilty of manslaughter by reason of provocation, something he had denied in garda interviews.
Mr Justice White said he had to accept the jury's verdict and also Toland's account of picking the knife up in Mr Nolan's apartment.
"Fatal stabbings ought to attract lengthy sentences," he said, adding that elements in society resort to knives to resolve differences and have little or no respect for human life.
He noted that there was more than one victim, as the deceased left behind a family and friends.
The judge said he felt a sentence of 14 years would be appropriate.
"Fortunately for you . . . I'm constrained by the Court of Criminal Appeal from imposing such a sentence," he said.
Mr Nolan's family criticised the justice system outside the court afterwards.
"To say we're disappointed is an understatement," Marian Nolan said. "The judge said he felt he should have given him 14 years but his hands were tied by the Court of Criminal Appeal."
She pointed at the sign on the wall for The Courts of Criminal Justice. "It's the Courts of Criminal Law. It's a game played out by two teams, and our children are the ones who lose," she said. "Justice never wins".