Limerick man guilty of manslaughter of ‘annoying’ beggar

Desmond Coyle (60) admitted stabbing Carl Carpaci ‘to stop him demanding money’

Desmond Coyle had pleaded not guilty to the 58-year-old Romanian national’s murder at Roche’s Row

Desmond Coyle had pleaded not guilty to the 58-year-old Romanian national’s murder at Roche’s Row

 

A man has been cleared of murder but found guilty of the manslaughter of an “annoying” beggar, whom he stabbed with a knife to “stop him demanding money”.

Desmond Coyle told those who restrained him after the killing in Limerick that he hoped his victim was dead and that he had deserved it.

He later told gardaí that if he had ‘stopped f***ing annoying me, it wouldn’t have happened’.

The 60-year-old of Davis Street was on trial at the Central Criminal Court, charged with murdering Calo Carpaci at lunchtime on May 24th, 2017.

He had pleaded not guilty to the 58-year-old Romanian national’s murder at Roche’s Row, where the victim had lived.

Mr Justice Michael White told the jury there were various possible grounds on which it could find him guilty of manslaughter, rather than murder: self defence, lack of intent to kill or seriously injure Mr Carpaci, or gross negligence.

The jury took less than four hours to reach a unanimous verdict of not guilty of murder, but guilty of manslaughter.

The trial heard that Coyle had spent that morning drinking in early houses in the city. He was then captured on CCTV footage arriving on Roche’s Row and approaching Mr Carpaci’s front door and going inside for 13 seconds.

The footage next showed a scuffle between the two outside, with Mr Carpaci’s nephew and his nephew’s partner then tackling the accused, before passersby stepped in and restrained him.

Neither his nephew nor his partner gave evidence but the passersby, described as good citizens by the defence, both gave evidence.

‘I hope he’s dead’

Eamon Hayes testified that Coyle had said: “I’ve stabbed him. I’m out of here.”

Eric Hackett recalled the accused saying: “I hope he’s dead. He deserves it. There’s history.”

Coyle told gardaí that he’d gone there that day to “stop him demanding money off me” and “making smart-alecky comments”.

He did not know why he had chosen that particular day and said that he did not remember going or bringing the knife. However, he said that he “must have” brought it.

“He opened the door and came out very fast. That’s all I remember,” he said in a Garda interview. “He had fallen down and was bleeding.”

He was asked why he was bleeding.

“Because the knife obviously went into him,’ he replied. “I had the knife in my hand. I don’t know if he came onto it or I put it in him.”

It was put to him that the reality was that, if he hadn’t gone there with the knife, the man would still be alive.

“I understand,” he replied. “I know the reality is that if he had stopped f***ing annoying me, it wouldn’t have happened either.”

The jury also heard from Deputy State Pathologist Dr Michael Curtis, who had carried out the postmortem exam on the deceased.

He gave the cause of his death as a single stab wound to the chest, which had penetrated and gone all the way through the heart.

The prosecutor last week urged the jury to convict Coyle, who had “trespassed” into Mr Carpaci’s house with the knife that killed him, before confessing: “I stabbed him in the chest.”

The defence barrister argued that he had gone there to confront him and did not have the intention for murder when he grappled with the deceased.

Mr Justice White remanded Coyle in custody for sentencing on January 21st.