Tipperary man gets life for murder of girlfriend


A 31-year-old father of two has been sentenced to life imprisonment for the murder of his 20-year-old girlfriend and given a 15 year concurrent sentence for a frenzied knife attack which almost claimed the life of her older brother.

Kevin Prendergast with an address at Knockeen, Grange, Clonmel, Co Tipperary pleaded guilty at the Central Criminal Court sitting in Cork to the murder of Joanne Mangan and to assault causing serious harm to Edmund Mangan on October 16th 2007.

Sgt Padraic Walsh told Mr Justice Paul Carney that Prendergast and the deceased had been in a relationship for around a year and were living together at a rented house at Ballynamuddagh outside Clonmel and had just returned from a holiday in Spain the week before.

They were with a number of others including the deceased’s sister, Geraldine and brother, Edmund and Graham Johnson at a party at the house late on October 15th at which beer and cannabis were being consumed along with the prescription drug, Diazapene.

Joanne Mangan went to bed around 11.30pm and Prendergast followed her upstairs while Edmund Mangan fell asleep downstairs in a chair but Prendergast and Joanne had an argument and they came back downstairs.

She went out of the house and he went into the kitchen and took two knives from a drawer and followed her out where he confronted her on the roadway and began attacking her with the knives, stabbing repeatedly a total of 14 times and she fell to the ground.

Geraldine Mangan and Graham Johnson had left just a few minutes earlier but they had forgotten some DVDs and drove back to find Joanne lying covered in blood on the roadway and Prendergast with the knives in his hands.

They picked up Joanne and rushed her to St Joseph’s Hospital in Clonmel but she was pronounced dead on arrival and a post-mortem revealed that her wounds would have proven rapidly fatal..

Sgt Walsh said that Mr Mangan suffered some nine wounds when he was attacked and the two attacks happened immediately after one and other and he was discovered when Prendergast went to a neighbour’s house, O’Loughlins covered in blood.

Mr O’Loughlin came over to Prendergast’s house and found Mr Mangan with severe wounds and he contacted the emergency services and gardai who were first at the scene rushed Mr Mangan to St Joseph’s Hospital in Clonmel.

Prosecution counsel, Tom Creed SC said that there would have been medical evidence that Mr Mangan suffered nine stab wounds including some to his neck and down his left side which would all have proven fatal only for medical intervention.

Sgt Walsh agreed with defence counsel, Brendan Nix SC that Prendergast expressed remorse when being interviewed by gardai and said that he had no control over himself on the night and that he had thoughts of killing himself and expressed regret he hadn’t done so.

Mr Nix said that Prendergast had been binge drinking “a vicious cocktail” which included vodka, Bacardi, cider, beer and absinthe, which he had brought back from Spain and which drives people insane, while he also took cannabis and Diazapan.

He said Prendergast felt that it was a nightmare from which he would never wake up and he was deeply remorseful as he loved Joanne and had hoped one day to marry her while now he could only hope that her family would one day forgive him for what he had done.

Joanne’s sister, Christina read a victim impact statement on behalf of her family in which she said that since Joanne’s murder,their “lives will never be the same again, there is a pain and an emptiness that will never go away”.