Wednesday 21 February 2018

Three-year term for killer 'disgraceful'

Kevin Keane and Conor Gallagher

THE family of a woman beaten to death outside a maternity hospital have described as "disgraceful" a three-year sentence handed down to her killer.

Wesley Ward was jailed yesterday after pleading guilty to the manslaughter of Tracey O'Brien on June 25, 2009.

Ward pulled the 31-year-old to the ground and kicked and stamped on her head outside Dublin's Rotunda Hospital.

Yesterday the victim's mother Linda told the Irish Independent that her "heart was broken". "All I can say is that there's no justice in this country. It just breaks my heart to think that I reared her and just because she had one or two wrong turns in life, she wasn't worth her day in court."

Detective Sergeant Desmond told the court that Ward's former partner, Michelle Brannigan, gave birth to a child two years ago which suffered from severe medical difficulties.

Shortly after her birth, Ward arrived at the maternity hospital and told Ms Brannigan that Ms O'Brien was spreading false rumours that the child had been taken into care.

Ms O'Brien came down to the hospital and a fight broke out between the victim and Ms Brannigan. The two were exchanging punches before Ward intervened and pulled Ms O'Brien to the ground by her hair. He then punched and stamped on her head.

Ms O'Brien was taken to hospital where she fell into a coma and died a week later.

Irish Independent

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