Kilkee murder accused found guilty of manslaughter

Robbie Walsh had pleaded not guilty to murder of Karl Haugh (25) in August 2017

Karl ‘Gobble’ Haugh: stabbed in Kilkee

Karl ‘Gobble’ Haugh: stabbed in Kilkee

 

A Clare man who admitted stabbing another male in the back during a row has been acquitted of murder but convicted of manslaughter.

Robbie Walsh (23) of Island View, Kilrush, Co Clare, had pleaded not guilty at the Central Criminal Court to murdering 25-year-old Karl “Gobbo” Haugh at Marian Estate, Kilkee, Co Clare, in the early hours of August 6th, 2017.

The jury took over three hours to return a unanimous verdict of not guilty of murder but guilty of manslaughter.

Ms Justice Carmel Stewart thanked the jurors for their time and attendance and excused them from further civic duty for five years.

She remanded Walsh in custody and ordered a report from the Probation Service pending sentence hearing on March 25th, next.

Earlier, the jurors had sought clarification from Ms Justice Stewart about the verdicts open to them.

Ms Justice Stewart said for a guilty verdict, the jury must be satisfied beyond a reasonable doubt that Walsh had intended to kill or cause serious harm, where no issue of self defence arose.

During the trial, the jury heard Mr Haugh died of a single stab wound, which punctured his lung and led to massive bleeding.

The jury heard and viewed excerpts of Walsh’s garda interviews during the trial. In one interview, Walsh said: “I deserve to spend the rest of my life in prison, that man is going into a hole.”

When asked what led to the event, Walsh told gardaí­ that his cousin, Clinton Walsh, had gone to Mr Haugh’s house earlier that night to buy cocaine. He said instead Mr Haugh had attacked his cousin. Walsh said his “only intention” for later going up to the Marian Estate was to “go up and break a few windows in Karl’s car”.

He told gardaí­: “I’d no intention of killing anyone or doing anything like that. My only intention was to smash a few windows. I might be a lot of things but I’m not a murderer.”

‘Keeled over, crouched down, holding his back’

Sam Lucey told Patrick Gageby SC, prosecuting, that he and Mr Haugh had taken a golf club each to confront Walsh and his two cousins, following earlier heated phone conversations.

Mr Lucey, the deceased’s cousin, said he also took a knife from his kitchen after seeing Robbie, Clinton and Mitchell Walsh running around his estate. He told the court he saw one of them with a bar.

He said he got separated from Mr Haugh when they encountered the Walshs.

He told Mr Gageby the fight had lasted “only a couple of minutes” when he heard another male shouting that Mr Haugh had been stabbed.

The witness said he went to Mr Haugh and saw him “keeled over, kind of crouched down, holding his back”.

He told the jury he called emergency services while he brought the injured man back to his home, with another friend who had arrived on the scene.

Mr Lucey said he went with Mr Haugh by ambulance to University Hospital Limerick, but was told to wait while his cousin was brought to the emergency department. He said he didn’t see Mr Haugh after that.

Mr Haugh’s mother, Bridget Haugh, told the jury she went to Limerick University Hospital after receiving news her son had been hurt. She said when she spoke with Mr Haugh, he kept telling her he was going to be ok.

She said she was on the road to hospital in Cork after Mr Haugh was due for a transfer there, but got a phone call from Limerick University Hospital to say his condition had deteriorated. She said when she got back to Limerick, she learned he had died.