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Dublin: 2 °C Sunday 15 December, 2019

Man convicted of murdering friend who was bludgeoned to death with a rock

Thomas O’Connor claimed he was acting in self-defence.

Image: Shutterstock/wavebreakmedia

A MAN WHO claimed he was acting in self-defence when he bludgeoned his friend to death with a rock weighing 1.6 kilos has been convicted of murder.

Thomas O’Connor (29) of Burnaby Court, Greystones had been charged with murdering John O’Brien, who was from Burnaby Lawns in Greystones on June 4, 2010.

The father of one had pleaded not guilty to murder, but guilty to the 22-year-old’s manslaughter at Farrankelly Road, Delgany, Co Wicklow.

O’Connor had admitted hitting John O’Brien over the head with the boulder “two or three times” but said he only did so to protect himself after his friend attacked him.

A post-mortem later revealed John O’Brien died from “catastrophic injuries” as a result of blunt force trauma to the head

Today, a jury at the Central Criminal Court took just under four hours to find him guilty of murdering John O’Brien.

O’Connor now faces a mandatory life sentence.

During their deliberations, the jury of six men and six women asked to re-examine the murder weapon.

They returned less than half-an-hour later to say they had found the accused guilty of murder

Dressed casually in a grey windcheater and blue jeans. O’Connor kept his head bowed and did not react when the verdict was read out.

Trial judge Ms Justice Margaret Heneghan remanded the accused in custody for sentencing on 23 March and exempt the jury from service for 10 years.

Read: ‘Dangerous’ prisoner on the run after being released by mistake>

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Peter Doyle

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