Thursday 19 April 2018

'This was not justice' - Mother of man stabbed to death in 'trespass trial'

Margaret Mooney, pictured holding a photo of her deceased son Wesley, with daughter Jolene (rt) and niece Jemma (ctr) at their Finglas home yesterday.
Margaret Mooney, pictured holding a photo of her deceased son Wesley, with daughter Jolene (rt) and niece Jemma (ctr) at their Finglas home yesterday.

Patrick O'Connell

THE devastated mum of a Dublin man stabbed to death in a trespassing incident has claimed that he did not get justice in the recent high-profile court case.

Wesley Mooney’s mother, Margaret, was speaking after 20-year-old Martin Keenan was acquitted of murder last week.

Mr Keenan, formerly of Cardiffsbridge Avenue, Finglas, north Dublin, had pleaded not guilty to murdering 33-year-old Wesley Mooney at St Joseph’s Park halting site, Dunsink Lane, north Dublin on June 5, 2016.

In a landmark decision last Wednesday, a Central Criminal Court jury acquitted Mr Keenan of the murder of the unarmed man he stabbed to death with broken garden shears after finding him in his bedroom.

However, Margaret Mooney said: “This was not justice for Wesley. My son was stabbed twice – the garden shears cut through both his lungs and sliced through his aorta.

“How can a jury say this was reasonable force – if we have to go through the civil courts to have someone held accountable for Wesley’s death then we will.

“Wesley’s two children have lost their father. He wasn’t there to burgle anyone that night,” she said.

Speaking about her son, Margaret said he lived for his children and while he was “no angel”, due in the large part to issues he had with substance addiction, he didn’t deserve to be killed.

“It’s nearly two years now that he is dead and his son and daughter still ask for him. They were devastated by his death. To have to tell them the man who killed their father isn’t going to go to jail, that was very hard,” she said.

The Central Criminal Court heard Mr Keenan and his wife had returned home that night to find two strangers in their bedroom. Mr Keenan claimed Wesley attacked him and that he had picked up the nearest object and hit him with it.

Under the 2011 Defence and the Dwelling Act, a homeowner has the right to use reasonable force, where a person believes the other entered the dwelling as a trespasser, especially in the context of committing a crime.

Mr Keenan told detectives he got a fright when he and his wife arrived home around 11.45pm to find the lights on and someone in their bedroom. Mr Keenan said they went back outside and that a man and a woman walked out after them. He added that the man had attacked him.

“He came running at me so I picked up some kind of a tool yoke and I hit him with it,” he said.

“I hit him twice, high and low. He fell on the ground.”

Ciara Tynan, Wesley Mooney’s girlfriend who was with him in the mobile home at the time, denied her boyfriend had run at Mr Keenan.

She told the court he had been staying in a caravan elsewhere on Dunsink Lane and had gone to Finglas to buy alcohol that day.

Ms Tynan testified that they were on their way back when a Traveller known to the deceased stopped his car and invited them to a mobile home in St Joseph’s Park for a drink.

She said they had followed his directions to the empty and unlocked mobile home while this man went to an off-licence.

She added they had gone into the bedroom because it was the only room with a light on, but she admitted she had handled items and opened cupboards in the living room on their way.

She said the owner returned and told them to “get the f**k out” and that they did so.

However, she said that as they were leaving the accused stuck something into her boyfriend, who fell to the ground.

Wesley Mooney was unarmed and died where he fell on the decking of Mr Keenan’s mobile home. He had sustained two stab wounds, one below the left armpit with a depth of 27cm.

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