Wednesday 17 January 2018

Mother describes heartbreak as Jamie's killer is convicted

Alistair Keely and Breda Heffernan

THE grief-stricken mother of a talented young irish jockey who was killed in a fire in England has said a part of her died with him.

Madeleine Cosgrove-Kyne was speaking after caretaker Peter Brown (37) was found guilty of the manslaughter of her young son, Jamie Kyne, and another apprentice jockey, Jan Wilson, at Leeds Crown Court yesterday.

Jamie (18), from Kiltrogue, Co Galway, and Jan (19), from Forfar in Scotland, perished in an apartment block fire in Norton, Yorkshire, which was started by Brown as part of a drunken revenge attack.

"September 5, 2009, was, and always will be, the worst day of my life. You never think that your child will be taken away from you," said Ms Cosgrove-Kyne.

"It is like someone has ripped my heart out, stamped all over it and then handed it back to me hardly beating."

She and Jamie's father, Gerry Kyne, and their family attended each day of the 16-day trial. In a statement issued following Brown's conviction yesterday, they said the caretaker had robbed them of a "fantastic son".

"When Jamie died, a part of each one of us died with him. Brown has left us all shattered and our lives will never be the same again."


"The pain and grief we feel constantly is unbearable," they added.

Meanwhile, Jan's devastated mother, Margaret Wilson, described her daughter as a "dream come true".

She added that no punishment will be enough for losing Jan, but at least Brown "can't take our memories away".

The jury heard that Brown, who is originally from Scotland, set fire to the Buckrose Court apartment complex as an act of revenge after he was refused entry to a party in one of the flats.

He was cleared of murder but found guilty of manslaughter. He was also acquitted of arson with intent to endanger life.

Friends and relatives of the two jockeys said "yes" as the manslaughter verdict was delivered and comforted each other in the public gallery

Brown, who had a long-standing problem with alcohol, worked as a caretaker at the complex and had a prickly relationship with the women who lived in the flat where the party was taking place.

Jamie and fellow Irish jockey Ian Brennan, from Donaghmede in Dublin, lived in the flat above the women. Jan was Ian's girlfriend and she was staying there the night of the blaze.

The jury was told that Brown used white spirit to set fire to rubbish in the stairwell after he returned from a drinking session in local pubs in the early hours of September 5 last.

The fire rapidly took hold as the stairwell acted like a chimney. Jamie and Jan found themselves trapped at the top of the building and died in the blaze. Ian only survived by jumping from a window.

Speaking after the case, senior investigating officer, Detective Chief Inspector Alan Carey, said Brown will now finally have to face up to the consequences of his actions.

Ms Justice Nicola Davies adjourned sentencing for the completion of a pre-sentence report.

Irish Independent

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