Worker gets 5 years for manslaughter

 

The family of a former UDR Greenfinch, who died during "deviant sexual behaviour" in her Armagh home has criticised the fiveyear sentence imposed on the convicted quarry worker.

David Eric Porter (23), of Annvale Gardens, Keady, was jailed for five years by Newry Crown Court yesterday, for the manslaughter of Mrs Janet O'Donaghue (36), a mother of four children, on July 26th last year.

Afterwards, a spokesman for the family said they had expected Porter to be found guilty of murder and sentenced to life in prison.

Ms O'Donaghue, a divorcee, was found dead by her 14-year-old daughter, Michelle, when she went to wake her. She had been strangled. A lace from one of her black boots was wrapped tightly around her neck.

Passing sentence, Mr Justice Brian Kerr told Porter he had fled the house in a cowardly manner, knowing the lifeless body would be discovered by some member of the family. That gruesome experience, he said, had fallen on Michelle, who tried in vain to resuscitate her mother. The judge said he accepted Porter had panicked when he realised Ms O'Donaghue, for whom he had expressed fondness, was dead, but he could have tried to revive her.

Judge Kerr said the unfortunate young woman had died during what he termed "deviant sexual behaviour". He accepted Porter did not intend to cause her death, but it was inescapable that he had contributed to it.

Porter had originally gone on trial accused of murdering Ms O'Donaghue. On the third day his barrister, Mr Kevin Finnegan QC, requested that he be rearraigned. Porter then pleaded guilty to the lesser charge.