Daughter pleads for father's killer not to be allowed to appeal conviction

The three-judge court today refused to allow Mr Marian Lingurar Jnr (26) leave to appeal after considering the impact fresh court proceedings would have on the victim's family ten years after the killing
Daughter pleads for father's killer not to be allowed to appeal conviction

Eoin Reynolds

The daughter of a publican who was killed during a burglary has asked the Court of Appeal not to allow her father's killer to appeal his conviction.

The three-judge court on Thursday refused to allow Mr Marian Lingurar Jnr (26) leave to appeal after considering the impact fresh court proceedings would have on the victim's family ten years after the killing, and finding that the appeal had little chance of success.

The court will, however, allow Lingurar to appeal his nine-year prison sentence.

Lingurar, a Romanian national with former addresses in Loughgeorge, Claregalway, and Blackpool, Cork, was found guilty by a jury in 2019 of the manslaughter of John Kenny (56), at Kenny’s pub in Oughterard, Co Galway on September 25th, 2011.

In the judgement, president of the Court of Appeal Mr Justice George Birmingham said Mr Kenny's daughter, Gillian Kenny, had described "in very powerful terms the impact that the killing of their father has had on the Kenny family and how difficult they have found the very lengthy criminal process."

Following the burglary and killing in 2011, Lingurar broke his bail conditions, fled Ireland and returned under a false name, resulting in his trial being delayed until 2019.

Mix-up

A mix-up then resulted in his appeal not being lodged within the required time. Ms Kenny, the judge noted, had said in an affidavit filed to the court that any progress made to date was undone when the family learned of the late application for appeal.

Mr Justice Birmingham said the grounds of appeal that had been lodged had little chance of success. The interests of justice, he said, are therefore best served by refusing the application to appeal the conviction.

The court will hear the appeal against the nine-year sentence after hearing that the defence intends to argue that, given Lingurar's youth, the sentence was overly severe.

Mr Justice Birmingham noted that Lingurar was a juvenile at the time of the offence and was in the company of older men including his father.

Mr Justice Birmingham said: "We express no view on the likelihood of that argument or arguments along those lines ultimately carrying the day, but we are prepared to go so far as to say that it seems to us that a point of some substance has been identified.”

Badly beaten

He further noted that the impact on the deceased's family is “not as great” given that a sentence appeal does not carry the possibility of the verdict being overturned, a retrial and “interminable further delay.”

The trial in 2019 heard evidence that Mr Kenny had been badly beaten, tied up and left to die alone on the floor of the ladies’ toilet in his pub by a gang of men, including Lingurar, who had planned to rob him that night.

His wife Kathleen Kenny and their daughter Gillian found his body the following evening.

He had sustained severe injuries to his upper body, consistent with blows from a heavy object and with kicks and punches. His hands had been tied behind his back and a jacket wound tightly around his face and head.

Post-mortem results indicated he would not have died immediately from his injuries and would have had difficulty breathing due to the position in which his body had been left, face-down on the toilet floor.

Marian Lingurar jnr was also found guilty of a second charge of burglary at Mr Kenny’s pub on the same night after it emerged a “wad” of cash had been taken from Mr Kenny’s pocket and also from the till.

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