Man gets nine years for manslaughter of ‘kind, loving’ Galway publican

Marian Lingurar jnr had been a 16-year-old bouncer, working on the pub door at the time

Publican John Kenny was found dead in his bar in Oughterard in 2011.

Publican John Kenny was found dead in his bar in Oughterard in 2011.

 

A 24-year-old father of two has been sentenced to nine years in prison for his role in the manslaughter of Co Galway teacher and publican, John Kenny, over seven years ago,

Marian Lingurar jnr (24), a Romanian national with former addresses in Loughgeorge, Claregalway, and Blackpool, Cork, was found guilty by a jury last January of the manslaughter of Mr Kenny(56), at Kenny’s pub in Oughterard on September 25th 2011, and was remanded in custody for sentence on Wednesday.

The trial had heard evidence that Mr Kenny had been badly beaten, tied up and left to die alone on the floor of the ladies’ toilet in his pub by a gang of men, including the accused, who had planned to rob him that night.

The accused had been a 16-year-old bouncer, working on the door of the pub the previous evening. He had been in constant phone contact with his father and two other men who came to the pub later that night.

Eye witnesses, who gave evidence at the trial, saw him let other Romanian men into the pub after closing time and bolt the door from inside. Mr Kenny was alone in the pub at the time.

His wife Kathleen Kenny and their daughter Gillian found his body the following evening.

He had sustained severe injuries to his upper body, consistent with blows from a heavy object and with kicks and punches. His hands had been tied behind his back and a jacket wound tightly around his face and head.

Post mortem results indicated he would not have died immediately from his injuries and would have had difficulty breathing due to the position in which his body had been left, face-down on the toilet floor.

Lingurar jnr was also found guilty of a second charge of burglary at Mr Kenny’s pub on the same night after it emerged a “wad” of cash had been taken from Mr Kenny’s pocket and also from the till.

Marian Lingurar jnr (24) was sentenced to nine years in prison for his role in the manslaughter of Co Galway teacher and publican John Kenny. Photograph: Hany Marzouk
Marian Lingurar jnr (24) was sentenced to nine years in prison for his role in the manslaughter of Co Galway teacher and publican John Kenny. Photograph: Hany Marzouk

The accused had absconded from the jurisdiction before his initial trial was due to take place in 2013, but was arrested when he returned to Cork last May.

His sentence hearing heard that he had changed his name to Marian Lazare while in Romania and had “signed on” for Job Seeker’s Allowance on his return to Ireland last year, using his father’s identity.

He denied when interviewed by gardaí that he was Marian Lingurar jnr but his fingerprints confirmed his identity and he was taken into custody pending his two-and-a-half week trial in January.

He denied any involvement in the assault and robbery of Mr Kenny but later said he was sorry to hear of his death. A probation report handed into court on Wednesday indicated he did not accept the jury’s guilty verdict.

Reading the Kenny family’s victim impact statement to the court, Mrs Kenny said they had spent the last seven years in torment, trying to piece together John’s final moments.

She said John’s voice had been taken from him the night he died but their statement would give him back his voice now.

Looking straight at the accused , she said: “Gillian and I want to look him in the eyes and ask him why did they need to inflict such horrific pain and suffering on John?

“Do you even remember John’s last words?” she asked him.

“Why did you needlessly kill a defenceless, kind and loving man who we loved more that all the world?”

Judge Rory McCabe said the charge of manslaughter carried a maximum of life in prison before placing the headline sentence in this case at ten years.

In mitigation, he took the accused’s young age and the fact imprisonment for a foreign national is known to carry additional hardship into account before applying a 10 per cent discount.

He said there was no scope for suspending any portion of the sentence because the accused had told the probation service he did not accept the guilty verdict.