Man jailed for killing drug-dealer in row over €100 debt

William Gilsenan sentenced to four years in prison for manslaughter of Edward Fitzgerald

A 24-year-old who killed a drug-dealer during an argument over a €100 debt has been sentenced to four years in prison.

Last month, at the Central Criminal Court in Dublin, a jury found William Gilsenan (24) guilty of the manslaughter of Edward Fitzgerald (29) in a car park outside Gilsenan's home at The Green, Larch Hill, Oscar Traynor Road, Santry, Dublin 17.

Sentencing Gilsenan at the court on Thursday, Mr Justice Paul Butler said he accepted the jury's decision that the incident was not an intentional killing.

During the trial, the court heard that the killing took place on the afternoon of October 17th, 2014, when Mr Fitzgerald drove up to Gilsenan’s home looking for him to repay a €100 debt.

The two men argued in a car park outside Gilsenan’s apartment and witnesses said Mr Fitzgerald threatened to smash up Gilsenan’s home and his mother’s home.

Following the row, Gilsenan went into his apartment and emerged some minutes later armed with a knife.

He told gardaí during interviews that he got the knife in order to scare Mr Fitzgerald away, but had no intention of using it.

The row between the two reignited when Gilsenan returned to the car park.

One witness said Mr Fitzgerald threw a punch at Gilsenan through his car’s open window.

A fight broke out between the two, during which Gilsenan produced the knife and stabbed Mr Fitzgerald twice.

One wound went through his leg but did not cause any life-threatening injuries. The other pierced his heart and caused his death.

The victim’s sister, Nicola O’Dea, spoke outside the Criminal Courts of Justice after the brief hearing on Thursday.

“Our family are disappointed at the sentence handed down this morning,” she said.

“It seems unfair that our brother’s life was taken at 29 years of age and the accused will be out before he even reaches that age. We have a life sentence to live with.”

‘Ashamed’

At a hearing earlier this month, Gilsenan told the court that he was ashamed of what he had done.

He said he had destroyed a family and “would never live it down”.

The judge said on Thursday that he was impressed by the fact Gilsenan had no history of violence until the killing.

He sentenced Gilsenan to six years in prison, with two years suspended.

READ MORE