Suspended sentences for couple arising from 2007 death of model Katy French

Wed, Feb 20, 2013, 00:00

A man and a woman have been given suspended sentences at Trim Circuit Court on drugs charges arising from the death of the professional model Katy French in Co Meath five years ago.

Kieron Ducie (43), Lamberstown Manor, Kilmessan, Co Meath, and Ann Corcoran (32), Tolka Road, Clonliffe Road, Dublin 3, had admitted that at an unknown location between 6pm on December 1st, 2007, and 10am on December 2nd, 2007, they procured another man, Russell Memery, to possess cocaine for the purpose of sale or supply to another.

A second charge against the couple was withdrawn in November last. That charge alleged that on the same dates at Lamberstown Manor, Kilmessan, they intentionally or recklessly engaged in the supply of cocaine to Ms French and failure to get medical assistance in a timely fashion, which created a substantial risk of death or serious harm to another.

Ms French died in Our Lady’s Hospital, Navan, on December 6th, 2007, a number of days after she had collapsed at Kieron Ducie’s home early on Sunday December 2nd.

Two years ago then 25-year-old Memery, who had been living at Yellow Clay Manor, Navan, became the first person charged in connection with the death of Ms French.

He was given a 2½-year suspended sentence at Trim Circuit Court after pleading guilty to having conspired to possess cocaine for the purpose of sale or supply to another between 11pm on December 1st and 3am on December 2nd, 2007.

Brain seizure

Supt Michael Devine told Trim Circuit Court yesterday an autopsy showed Ms French had died from a brain seizure brought about by ingesting cocaine.

Replying to prosecuting counsel Jonathan Kilfeather SC, the superintendent said Ms French had contacted Ducie at 11pm on December 1st, saying she wanted to call out to Corcoran who was in Ducie’s house and asked him to arrange for her to get a supply of cocaine.

Ducie then contacted Memery and following a number of calls which also involved Corcoran and Ms French, Memery arranged to meet Ms French at the Statoil petrol station in Clonee to hand over the drugs.

The court heard the model had paid €200 which Memery then passed on to another man.

Drinking and talking

Corcoran then met Ms French at Warrenstown and led her to Kilmessan, where they spent the night drinking and talking.

Ducie told gardaí he had been on a night out in Dublin and returned to the house at 6.30am and the two women were still up. He put Ms French to bed in a downstairs room about 8am and he and Corcoran retired upstairs.

The defendants told gardaí shortly afterwards they heard a bang about 8.15-8.30am and when they went downstairs they found Ms French lying on the floor.

In a statement to gardaí, Ducie said he found Ms French lying face down and “bouncing up and down”. He grabbed her by the waist and her arms and legs were straight out and her eyes were bulging. He said he and Corcoran put Ms French into his jeep and he took her to hospital in Navan.

The superintendent said phone records showed Ducie had made a 999 call at 10.05am and arrived at the hospital at 10.12am.

Forensic examination of phone traffic showed Ducie made a number of calls to Memery between 9.59am and 1pm.

The court also heard a nurse had noticed that Ms French had been unresponsive when she arrived at the hospital and when the medical team there asked Corcoran if Ms French had taken drugs.

Corcoran replied that they had been drinking and she had not seen Ms French take drugs, but added that she had gone to the toilet several times during the night.

A lawyer for Ducie told the court that his client, who was a father of two, regretted and was remorseful for what had happened on the night.

Bernard Condon SC said that Ducie had been a facilitator in helping Ms French get drugs on the night.

Patrick Marrinan SC, for Corcoran, said his client had simply been a conduit of information on the night, telling Ms French where to get the drugs from Memery.

‘Terrible and tragic’

Judge Michael O’Shea described Ms French’s death as “terrible and tragic” and said it would be inhuman not to express sympathy for the French family who would have to bear the cross of her death for the rest of their lives.

The judge imposed a sentence of 2½ years on Ducie, which he suspended on the defendant entering a bond of €200 to keep the peace and be of good behaviour for two years.

Judge O’Shea imposed a sentence of two years on Corcoran which he suspended on the defendant entering a bond of €200 to keep the peace for two years.