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How long will Graham Dwyer be in prison for?

In murder trials in Ireland, there is an automatic life sentence applied on a guilty finding.

Laura Hutton / Photocall Ireland Laura Hutton / Photocall Ireland / Photocall Ireland

GRAHAM DWYER, FOUND guilty of the murder of Elaine O’Hara today, will be sentenced to life imprisonment.

In murder trials in Ireland, there is an automatic life sentence applied on a guilty finding. This will be confirmed at his official sentencing on 20 April.

The sentencing means that Dwyer will spend his life behind bars until he is deemed fit for release by the Prison Service. In Ireland, time served for those released under life sentences averages out at more than 14 years.

If deemed fit, Dwyer will be released on licence, effectively meaning he is on parole for the rest of his life. Should he commit any offence, from tax violations upwards, his sentence will be reactivated.

Not guilty plea

Mandatory sentencing makes it much less likely that an accused person will plead guilty, as their plea cannot be taken into account on sentencing.

Legal sources say that any other sentence would only be open in a verdict of manslaughter, but that was not an option given to the jury.

Dwyer’s high profile is not likely to play a part in his release, if that happens.

Before that, however, there is likely to be an appeal, with one source saying that they expect “the kitchen sink”, meaning that many aspects of the case could be appealed.

Graham Dwyer found guilty of murdering Elaine O’Hara>

Read all of Graham Dwyer coverage here>

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