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Shop murderer faces life in jail for knifing hero

A HAVE-a-go-hero murdered for €50 was driven to take on his killer because of a series of robberies at his shop.

Dad-of-two John Deasy was stabbed in cold-blood while trying to protect a female employee and his business.

A 20-year-old will be sentenced to life in jail next month after a jury found him guilty of murdering Mr Deasy (44) in Arklow over a year ago.

Butcher Anthony Farrell, of Marian Villas, Arklow, buried his knife so deep into the shopkeeper's chest that he severed his aorta. Mr Deasy stood no chance as his lungs filled with blood and he collapsed and died in the doorway of his shop.

After a murder verdict was delivered, Mr Deasy's daughters, Sarah Kate (15) and Emma (13), broke down in tears outside the court room.

His family will have an opportunity to explain how the sudden death has affected them during a victim impact statement to be delivered before sentencing on May 20.

There was no noticeable reaction from Farrell as the unanimous guilty verdict was returned, following just under four hours of deliberations.

During the three-day trial, the court heard that Farrell had arrived at Brauders newsagents at around 8pm on November 25 2009.


He was wearing a balaclava and armed with a kitchen knife. When he demanded money from the shop assistant, she screamed for Mr Deasy, who was in his apartment overhead.

He arrived at the door of the shop, also armed with a knife, and confronted Farrell saying "This is the second f**king time and this time I have the knife."

There had been two previous armed robberies at the shop, but Farrell had not been involved in either.

In evidence it was said that the two began pushing and shoving each other. Farrell later told gardai he was trying to get out but Mr Deasy kept kicking him back inside the shop.

He said this happened three or four times, and "the last time I got him...I stuck him with the knife when he was standing in the doorway, to get out".

He said he had ran towards Mr Deasy with the knife raised in the air, but that he had panicked and it was an accident.

Farrell was arrested two days later, after gardai discovered a bloodstained knife and a balaclava in his garden shed.

Mr Justice Paul Butler referred to the fact that the issue of self-defence had been raised by Farrell's defence team, but cautioned the jury that if they were of the view Farrell had stabbed Mr Deasy in order to escape, and not to protect himself, then self defence did not arise.

Farrell will be handed down the mandatory life sentence on May 20.