| 7.5°C Dublin

Junior Cert party knife killer sent to jail for 12 years





A 24-YEAR-old Dubliner has been jailed for 12 years for killing a father of three with an ornamental knife after getting into a row with his daughter at her Junior Cert celebrations.

Father-of-one David Brannock was also sentenced for attacking three of the victim's family members on the same occasion.

He had been cleared of murdering Jason Flannery but found guilty of his manslaughter on September 13, 2012 in St Joseph's Way, Poppintree, Ballymun.


A Central Criminal Court jury also convicted him of causing serious harm to the deceased man's brother-in-law, John O'Neill, and assault causing harm to Mr Flannery's daughter Jade Byrne and son Anthony Byrne. He was cleared of assault causing harm to their mother, Claire Byrne.

Brannock, of St Joseph's Way, Ballymun, had pleaded not guilty to all five offences.

Last month's trial heard that Jade Byrne got into an argument with Brannock during the celebrations. The argument escalated and her other family members became involved.

Brannock was eventually asked to leave the Byrne-Flannery home in Cairn Court, a short walk from his house. Mr O'Neill said he shouted: "I'll be back and yous are all going to get it."

The family heard banging on a front window about 20 minutes later and the men went outside, where they saw the accused running away. John O'Neill testified that the accused was shouting: "Come on out." Mr Flannery and Mr O'Neill each took a crutch and followed him the 100 metres to St Joseph's Way, where Brannock attacked them.

Claire, Anthony and Jade Byrne followed a few seconds later.

Mr Flannery died at the scene from a stab wound to the back of his neck, which penetrated his spinal cord.

John O'Neill was stabbed seven times. The knife damaged his vocal cord and severed the flap of skin that prevented food going into his lungs. Part of his intestine was protruding from a wound.

Anthony Byrne received nine stitches for a head wound, which left a permanent scar. Jade Byrne received stitches for a wound to her back.

A trail of blood led gardai from Mr Flannery's body to Brannock's home, where they found him hiding.

The handle of an ornamental knife found outside Mr Flannery's house fitted perfectly with a bloodstained blade found in Brannock's next-door neighbour's garden. These then fitted perfectly into a knife box found in his bedroom.


The judge said the aggravating factors far outweighed any mitigating factors, putting the manslaughter and the assault on Mr O'Neill at the most serious end of the scale.

"Once a knife is brought to a scene, there's a high probability that it's going to be used," he said.

"Having brought the knife, he used it indiscriminately, inflicting injuries on a number of victims."