After deliberating for over three hours a jury in the Central Criminal Court acquitted a 23 year-old Kilrush man of murder but convicted him of manslaughter.
Robbie Walsh, (23), of Island View had pleaded not guilty to murdering 25-year-old Karl “Gobbo” Haugh at Marian Estate, Kilkee in the early hours of August 6, 2017.
The jury took over three hours to return a unanimous verdict of not guilty of murder but guilty of manslaughter.
Ms Justice Carmel Stewart thanked the jurors for their time and attendance and excused them from further civic duty for five years. She remanded Walsh in custody and ordered a report from the Probation Service pending sentence hearing on March 25 next.
Earlier, the jurors had sought clarification from Ms Justice Stewart about the verdicts open to them.
Ms Justice Stewart said for a guilty verdict, the jury must be satisfied beyond a reasonable doubt that Walsh had intended to kill or cause serious harm, where no issue of self defence arose.
Reading from legal guidelines, she told the jury that a person is entitled to protect themselves from attack if using no more force than is reasonably necessary. She said this person is acting lawfully and no crime is committed even if the assailant is killed.
She said if more force is used than can be objectively considered necessary, then the act and any killing is unlawful. The judge said in this case the person’s intention has to be tested subjectively.
She told the jury that if the intention was primarily self defence, the killing would be manslaughter only.