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Ringsend murder accused in 'breath-taking' attempt to withdraw guilty plea

Kenneth Cummins wants to have his guilty plea vacated – days after he changed it from not guilty.

Image: Sam Boal/Photocall Ireland

A DUBLIN MAN has made a “breath-taking” application to withdraw his guilty plea for murdering a “mentally challenged” 63-year-old man while his co-accused sister has been handed down a life sentence.

Sabrina Cummins (37) with an address at Ringsend Park, Dublin 4, pleaded not guilty to murdering Thomas Horan (63) at Cambridge Court, Ringsend on January 6 last year but last Tuesday after a period of five hours deliberating, a jury of six men and six women brought in a unanimous verdict of guilty at the Central Criminal Court.

Kenneth Cummins (28) also pleaded not guilty to the charge initially but four weeks into the trial he changed his plea to guilty.

This morning Mr Giollaiosa O Lideadha SC told the judge he had been instructed to have his client’s plea of guilty vacated as he was not in a fit state to make the plea on November 11.

Mr Justice Tony Hunt asked Mr O Lideadha “where would they go from here” on the assumption that the application is successful.

Mr O Lideadha said if the plea was vacated Mr Cummins would have to be put on trial again.

“This was a man who couldn’t wait to get out of the building and now he wants to come back,” said Mr Justice Hunt.

“He wants a retrial and if it was possible to reconstitute the jury,” replied Mr O Lideadha.

Prosecution counsel Mr Remy Farrell SC said this application was ”breath taking” and no more than “a stroke” by Mr Cummins.

Mr Farrell said Mr Cummins wanted an opportunity to run the trial again without his co-accused and he opposed it.

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Mr Justice Hunt says it was a “remarkable application” in the circumstances and Mr Cummins will be “pushing a rock up a hill but we will see where it goes”.

The court then proceeded with the sentence of Sabrina Cummins and she was handed a life sentence for the murder of Thomas Horan, which was backdated to 8 January 2014.

The application for Mr Cummins will be dealt with on Monday December 7 at 10.30am.

About the author:

Alison O'Riordan

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