Man jailed for life over Cork murder
A 40-year-old man has been jailed for life following his conviction for the murder of a 62-year-old taxi driver who lived in the same building in Cork city.
The jury of seven men and five women took just one hour and 31 minutes to unanimously find Lloyd Buckley guilty of the murder of separated father-of-two Michael Healy.
Buckley, who lived in a bedsit at Rocksprings Terrace, St Lukes, Cork, had denied the murder of Mr Healy at a flat at the same address between September 18th and September 22nd, 2010.
Buckley pleaded guilty to the manslaughter at the outset of his trial at the Central Criminal Court sitting in Cork, but this plea was rejected by the Director of Public Prosecutions.
During the course of the five-day trial, the jury heard evidence from State Pathologist Prof Marie Cassidy that Mr Healy had died from blunt force trauma to the head.
Prof Cassidy said Mr Healy was struck at least six times around the forehead with a moderately heavy object which fractured his skull and drove bone fragments into his brain.
Buckley contacted gardaí and said he could not live with himself after claiming he had stabbed Mr Healy in the head with a knife.
Mr Healy’s brother Dermot told gardaí how he had found his brother lying in a pool of blood in the bathroom of his bedsit after he became concerned when he could not contact him.
Prof Cassidy told how she found blood stains on pillows, a duvet and on the wall near the head of the bed where Mr Healy had slept in the bedsit, suggesting his body had been moved.
Following the verdict, Dermot Healy broke down as he told in his victim impact statement how his brother’s death had devastated him, as he was his only sibling. "I am the only member of my family left, there was only myself and Mike in family, and life now is so sad and empty ... His death is with me every minute and hour of the day and night."
Defence counsel Martin Giblin SC read out a statement from Buckley in which he expressed his regret for killing Mr Healy, whom he described as "a good, kind man and neighbour".
"I am deeply sorry for being responsible for the loss of a very special person in your lives and I am very aware anything I say or do can never make amends for the pain I have caused you," said Buckley.
"I hope that someday you may be able to believe that I never meant to hurt Michael in any way that September week ... every day I wish I could undo this."
Mr Justice Paul Carney imposed the mandatory life sentence on Buckley, backdating it to September 23rd, 2010, when he was first taken into custody.