Vic­tims fam­i­lies tell of their con­tin­ued grief as O’Driscoll is jailed for life

The Argus - - NEWS -

A 36-year-old Dubliner be­ing sen­tenced to life in prison for a dou­ble mur­der told the judge that the jury got it wrong.

Ja­son O’Driscoll of Rich­mond Av­enue, Fairview was re­ceiv­ing the manda­tory sen­tence at the Cen­tral Crim­i­nal Court last Mon­day, af­ter a jury found him guilty fol­low­ing a trial that ended two months ago.

The jury had used cir­cum­stan­tial ev­i­dence to con­vict him of mur­der­ing 31-year-old An­thony Bur­nett and 25-year-old Joseph Red­mond in Co. Louth, where they had gone to sell him a stolen car on March 7th, 2012.

The five women and seven men had reached a ma­jor­ity ver­dict of ten to two, fol­low­ing more than seven hours con­sid­er­ing their ver­dicts.

On that oc­ca­sion, O’Driscoll stood up and asked: ‘Guilty of f ***ing what?’ He said there was no ev­i­dence, he was guilty of noth­ing and added: ‘ F***ing crook.’

He was back be­fore the court yes­ter­day for his sen­tence hear­ing, at which Alex Owens SC, prose­cut­ing, read out vic­tim im­pact state­ments pre­pared by his vic­tims’ moth­ers.

Mr Bur­nett’s mother, Marie Bur­nett, ac­knowl­edged that her ‘ lov­ing, kind-hearted and car­ing’ son had made some bad de­ci­sions in his life.

How­ever, she said he’d paid the price for them and had spent his fi­nal years try­ing to im­prove and rec­tify him­self.

‘He was my rock, my first­born and my only son,’ she wrote.

She said her heart had been shat­tered into a mil­lion pieces on the day he was ‘ taken in such an evil and cold-blooded way’.

She said she wasn’t ready to say good­bye when he was killed a week be­fore his birth­day.

‘Not only was my son shot, but their bod­ies were burned so badly that we couldn’t even have an open cof­fin and say a proper good­bye,’ she re­called.

‘We were robbed of that by a cal­lous, cold-hearted per­son,’ she con­tin­ued. ‘ How he sleeps at night, I’ll never know. He not only killed our sons, but he killed a big part of us too. He has ru­ined so many lives and he has filled us with so much anger and ha­tred.’

At this point, O’Driscoll in­ter­jected and shouted that he was in­no­cent.

How­ever, Mr Owens con­tin­ued read­ing the state­ment, in which Ms Bur­nett thanked all in­volved in the case ‘for not giv­ing up on An­thony and Joey and for work­ing long and end­less hours over the past six years’ to bring the fam­i­lies jus­tice.

‘Noth­ing will bring our son home. Our lives will never be the same again,’ she wrote. ‘ We will love and miss him un­til the day our hearts stop beat­ing.’

Mr Red­mond’s mother, Pauline Do­ran, wrote that her el­dest son had been bru­tally mur­dered in a most vi­o­lent man­ner ‘for be­ing in the wrong place at the wrong time’.

‘My life will never re­turn to nor­mal af­ter the to­tal dev­as­ta­tion,’ she wrote. ‘ There are days that I don’t feel able to get out of bed from ut­ter empti­ness at Joey’s loss.’

She said that no sen­tence im­posed on the per­pe­tra­tor would res­tore peace to her fam­ily.

‘I will con­tinue to mourn my son un­til the day I die,’ she said,

thank­ing the gar­dai, the PSNI and the fire­fight­ers, who at­tended the scene.

Mr Jus­tice Michael White then said that the court had a duty to im­pose the manda­tory life sen­tence.

He said that the two men had been ‘ex­e­cuted in a cal­lous, bru­tal way’.

He was in­ter­rupted by O’Driscoll, who again shouted that he was in­no­cent.

‘I’m in­no­cent, your hon­our. The jury got wrong,’ he in­sisted.

Jus­tice White con­tin­ued, not­ing that the two vic­tims had re­ceived ‘an hor­rific death with­out jus­ti­fi­ca­tion’, be­ing ex­e­cuted and burned. He said that no hu­man be­ings de­served this.

He then im­posed the manda­tory life sen­tence on each count, back­dated to June 2016 when O’Driscoll was taken into cus­tody.

He paid trib­ute to ‘ the end­less hours of work’ car­ried out by the

gar­dai and re­fused a cer­tifi­cate of leave to ap­peal.

The vic­tims’ fam­i­lies any com­ment.

How­ever, re­tired De­tec­tive In­spec­tor Pat Marry, who worked on the case, spoke out­side.

He said he hoped that the re­sult would be of some com­fort to the vic­tims’ fam­i­lies.

He said that both fam­i­lies were very up­set but sat­is­fied.

‘I’m hop­ing that maybe to­day they can get some so­lace and move on with their lives,’ he said. it left with­out mak­ing

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