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'He killed my son on a public footpath with two knives - it shouldn't have been manslaughter'

The mother of Sean Nolan has spoken of her anger at the sentencing of her son’s killer.

Capture111 The scene of Sean's death. RTÉ News RTÉ News

THE MOTHER OF a teenager who was fatally stabbed in Ballsbridge has called for the jury system to be abolished in cases of murder and manslaughter.

Charlotte Nolan’s son Sean was killed on Waterloo Road, Dublin in May 2007.

The 18-year-old was out with friends celebrating his graduation from secondary school. He stopped at a house where an unrelated party was taking place to ask for a corkscrew.

Finn Colclough, aged just 17 at the time, came to the door and reportedly became agitated when the teenagers didn’t leave. He went into the house and returned with two kitchen knives. Sean stood up to him, but was stabbed twice.

Colclough was found guilty of manslaughter and sentenced to 10 years in prison. This was reduced to eight on appeal, and then six on remission.

Charlotte spoke to Newstalk’s Pat Kenny Show about her anger at the man’s sentencing and early release.

PastedImage-4696 Charlotte Nolan RTÉ News RTÉ News

“I believe anybody who produces two knives to a situation on a public footpath is guilty of murder if that results in the death of somebody”, she said, adding that there should be mandatory minimum sentences, with lesser sentences only handed out with detail explanations to the families involved.

My opinion on the whole jury system is that I would abolish it in the case of murder and manslaughter.

Charlotte believes the jury may have been swayed by Colclough’s demeanour in court.

She told reporter Richard Chambers of how difficult it was to visit the scene of Sean’s death after his killer was released.

Unfortunately, where my son lost his life was outside of the home of the person who took his life. We, as a family, wanted to convey our love for our son and respect the place where he died.

Charlotte said there was always the possibility of bumping into Colclough when leaving flowers at the scene, but went through with it regardless – “I just felt it was more important to remember my son than to take my own feelings into consideration.”

She remembers her son everyday, she said, and encourages her children to be as happy as they can be, “because that’s what Sean would want”. Sean’s younger brother, who was just seven at the time of his death, is still struggling to come to terms with it.

Reacting to death of a 21-year-old man in a knife attack on Halloween, she said the families of victims of homicide should seek support from AdVic, a specialist organisation offering advice and services. She described counselling they offer as “hugely important”, as there is no state agency in Ireland to offer support.

‘His family are devastated’: Appeal for witnesses to fatal stabbing of Lorcan O’Reilly >

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