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21-year-old who stabbed man to death over car fire jailed for seven years

Blake Sweeney stabbed 33-year-old Robert Elston to death in May 2018.

Image: Sasko Lazarov/Rollingnews.ie

A 21-YEAR-OLD man who stabbed another man to death after failing to listen to the “wise counsel” of his mother to stay at home has been jailed for seven years for manslaughter.

Sentencing Blake Sweeney today at the Central Criminal Court, Mr Justice Tony Hunt said there was no need for the defendant to arm himself with a knife and great harm had been done with a young man losing his life.

“His mother’s wiser counsel did not prevail at the time,” noted the judge, adding that she had seen him searching for a knife in the kitchen press and told him to stay at home.

However, the judge said there was no reason to believe that Sweeney would have “taken up arms” that night but for the conduct of the deceased man.

In July, Sweeney of Fertha Drive, Cahersiveen, Kerry was found not guilty of murder but guilty of the manslaughter of Robert Elston, 33, of Lisselton at Fertha Drive on 21 May 23, 2018.

He had offered to plead guilty to manslaughter, but the Director of Public Prosecutions refused to accept the plea.

Deputy State Pathologist Dr Linda Mulligan told the trial that the cause of death was two stab wounds and in particular noted one to the back of the deceased that entered to a depth of 18cm and severed the aorta.

At Sweeney’s sentence hearing in October, the judge said that the tragedy of his victim’s death could have been avoided if Sweeney had listened to his mother, who told him not to leave the house after the deceased set fire to a car in the family’s driveway.

The court has heard that the victim’s father was stabbed to death in an unrelated incident years earlier.

Sweeney was sentenced to eight years and six months imprisonment with the last 18 months suspended, backdated to 23 May, 2018 when he went into custody.

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