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Five years is too short for killing my robber son

THE mother of stabbed raider Paul Howe has slammed his killer's five-year jail sentence.

Howe's mother Veronica claimed that justice was not done because the sentence imposed on his killer David Wilson was too short.

Speaking to the Herald minutes after Judge George Birmingham imposed the sentence, the victim's mother also criticised Wilson's apology.

"I can never forgive him," she said.

Wilson (22), of Marigold Avenue, Darndale, was found guilty of the manslaughter of Paul Howe in a supermarket car park in Killester on October 8, 2008.



struggle

The court heard that Wilson was among a group of people that chased Howe and an accomplice after they held up the supermarket's staff at knifepoint.

When Wilson and a security guard caught up with Howe, there was a struggle in which Howe was disarmed. Wilson then picked up the knife and stabbed Howe several times.

Then Wilson walked away but ran back to stab the victim once more as he lay on the ground bleeding to death.

A jury found him guilty of manslaughter last month.

Judge Birmingham said that the killing was not at the extreme end of the spectrum in manslaughter cases as Wilson had not brought the weapon to the scene, unlike most fatal stabbing cases. It was Howe who had brought the knife and the killing had happened swiftly in a very highly charged atmosphere.

However, the judge remarked on "the ferocity of the attack" and the multiplicity of wounds inflicted. The victim was unarmed when he was stabbed.

There could be no excuse for stabbing the victim six or seven times. He noted Wilson was only 19 when it happened and none of his previous convictions, including possession of drugs, indicated that he had a predisposition to violence.

Wilson is currently serving a two-year sentence for drug possession.

After the sentence was imposed yesterday, Howe's mother spoke of her anger.

"There was no justice today. My son was stabbed seven times. There was no justice for Paul's daughter," she said.

Criticising an apology by Wilson, she declared: "If he was that sorry then why didn't he read out the apology himself."

An apology offered by Wilson to the victim's family was read to the court by defence lawyer Brendan Grehan.

"Why did he stab my son seven times? And why did he go back to him a second time and stab him again? ... I can never forgive him," she said.

Recently, she had also told the Herald that her son was trying to raise money to pay off a debt because if he did not get the money he would "get a bullet".

Veronica described Paul as a good young lad, but said the death of his father Peter, when Paul was 13, changed his life.

aokeeffe@herald.ie


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