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Father gets seven years for deadly screwdriver blow

A YOUNG Dublin father who killed another man by stabbing him in the head with a screwdriver has been jailed for seven years.

Mark Morgan (25) claimed he fell backwards during a street fight with his victim, Paul Manley, and reached behind to grab a rock but instead found a screwdriver. He then lashed out and stabbed his victim in the head.

Mr Manley had earlier gone with friends to his local chippers to confront a group of men, including Morgan, whom he suspected of stealing his car. He died a week later in hospital.

Morgan, of Greencastle Road, Coolock, pleaded guilty at Dublin Circuit Criminal Court to the manslaughter of 26-year-old Mr Manley at nearby Moateview Drive in July 20, 2008.

He has 65 previous convictions, but none for violent offences.

Judge Patrick McCartan said he accepted Morgan had no intention of causing serious bodily harm but had "grave reservations" that the weapon was "fortuitously" found on the ground during the melee.

He said there had been no need for the altercation because Mr Manley was running away at the time.

The victim's mother, Bernie Manley, described in her victim impact statement how the death had ripped her family apart.

She said her son had been "the man of the house" since his father left home, that his younger sisters had looked up to him, that he had loved his car, worked each day and "wasn't the type to sit around the house".