The eldest daughter of a man who was murdered by his girlfriend’s estranged husband has told him she will never forgive him and hopes “he never sees the light of day again.”
Veronica Carberry said her life has been turned upside down and her family devastated by the murder of her father Aidan McMenamy. Following Ms Carberry's statement on Friday morning Ms Justice Eileen Creedon sentenced Anthony Paget to life imprisonment for the murder of Mr McMenamy at Clinch's Court, North Strand Road, Dublin 3.
His trial heard that Paget stabbed Mr McMenamy in the early hours of the morning during a row over Paget's estranged wife Candice Paget.
The 46-year-old, of Carnlough Road, Cabra, Dublin 7, had pleaded guilty to manslaughter but a jury found him guilty of murder by a unanimous verdict following a week-long trial last month.
Ms Carberry said the day her father died, her life turned upside down. What was supposed to be the happiest time of her life, as she moved into a new home, has left her numb inside, needing antidepressants to cope with how she feels and medication to help her sleep. She added: “I have lost the bond with my kids because I am not the mother or the person I was.”
She told her father’s murderer that he will never know the impact the killing has had on the family and added: “I will never forgive him for this and the pain he has caused our family and I hope he never sees the light of day again.”
The deceased’s sister Amanda McMenamy fought back tears as she spoke of how upsetting it is to know that her brother was “on his own without his family to hold his hand,” as he lay dying.
Listening to the details of his death during the trial was traumatic, she said, “but we did it as a family”. She said her brother took “the wrong path in life but behind everything he was a very kindhearted young man, he would do anything for you.”
She said the family would never wish any other family to suffer their ordeal, the sleepless nights, not being able to eat. She added: “We just hope and pray that Aidan is resting with our mam and dad.”
Paget's lawyer Michael Bowman SC read a short letter written by his client in which he said he is sorry for the pain and loss he caused. He said he would use his sentence to pray that his victim's family find closure.
The life sentence is backdated to July 19th, 2019 when Paget first went into custody.
Giving evidence during the trial Candice Paget said Mr McMenamy, her boyfriend, was jealous that she was spending so much time with the accused, her estranged husband.
All three were together in her home after drinking, taking heroin and smoking crack cocaine when, she said, Mr McMenamy “got it into his head that something was going on” between herself and Paget.
As the row unfolded she said she saw Mr McMenamy reach behind his back, pull out a knife and slash Paget in the face. She stood between the two men to try to stop the fight and she took the knife away. She said Mr McMenamy then called Paget “out for a knock” and both men went outside where the fight resumed and Paget stabbed Mr McMenamy to death.
The jury heard from Assistant State Pathologist Dr Margot Bolster that Mr McMenamy suffered seven stab wounds, one to the neck and six to the back. They also viewed CCTV footage showing part of the fight that led to the fatal stabbing.
Paget’s barrister Michael Bowman told the jury that what they had seen was his client reaching for the knife as “a last resort” when faced with serious injury. He was, counsel said, “entitled to meet fire with fire.”
Ms Justice Creedon asked the jury to consider whether Paget acted in self-defence, was so provoked by the accused that he lost all self-control, or was so intoxicated that he was unable to form an intent. If any of those scenarios was reasonably possible she told the jury to return a verdict of not guilty of murder but guilty of manslaughter.
Prosecution counsel Bernard Condon SC said that Paget’s level of intoxication had not impeded his ability to form an intention and the evidence in the case did not lend itself to self-defence. He also rejected the suggestion that Paget was “so provoked that he lost all self-control.”
He said there was no reality to the defence of provocation where CCTV footage showed that Paget had the presence of mind to move the knife very deliberately from his left hand into his right hand so he could wield it into the deceased’s neck, the area where it would do the most damage.
Mr Condon reminded the jury to pay attention to the "raw facts" of the case, where six deep stab wounds were inflicted into the back of Mr McMenamy. "That strikes self-defence off the list," he said, adding that the accused's behaviour was not consistent with somebody who thought that such force was reasonable.
The lawyer told the jury to consider that Paget had told a member of Dublin Fire Brigade in the hospital on the night that "if someone cuts my face they will end up in Glasnevin". Mr Condon asked the jury to consider if this was consistent with a man not being able to form an intention.
The barrister drew the jury’s attention to the taps running at Clinch’s Court and to the “clean up job” taking place, when gardaí arrived on the night. “Is that consistent with a man exercising a defence of self-defence?” he asked. If Paget was rendered incapable by his intake of intoxicants, why was he washing clothes and attempting to clean up the scene, he asked.
The accused’s interviews were “filled with lies”, counsel said. He pointed to Paget’s refusal to admit it was him in the CCTV footage when it was played to him by gardaí. “That is the level of self-serving dishonesty that was being engaged in by Mr Paget and it is not consistent with any of these defences that you might have to consider,” he said.
Retaliation is not self-defence, he explained, and it does not give one a licence to kill somebody with six stab wounds to the back. The law requires you to exercise restraint and there was ample opportunity for Paget to avoid the confrontation, he said. “Whoever started the fight, Mr Paget certainly put an end to it,” he said.
Going through the evidence in the trial, Mr Condon said that this case was really about “drunken rage” and people must be responsible for their actions. When the accused told gardaí in his interviews that he did not stab the deceased, Mr Condon said this was a “self-serving way” of avoiding responsibility and he asked the jury to return a verdict of murder.