The pub bouncer who left his employer to die on the toilet floor after a violent robbery has had his sentence reduced

A PUB DOORMAN who left his employer to die on the toilet floor after a robbery has had his nine-year prison sentence for manslaughter reduced by one year on appeal.

Marian Lingurar Jnr was 16 when publican John Kenny (56) was badly beaten, tied up and left to die alone on the floor of the women’s toilets at his public house, the Kenny pub in Oughterard, Co Galway, by a gang of on September 25, 2011.

Lingurar Jnr, who was “physically mature beyond his years”, did not participate in the restraint or assault of Kenny.

During the attack, Kenny had sustained serious upper body injuries consistent with being struck by a heavy object and being kicked and punched. His hands had been tied behind his back and a jacket wrapped tightly around his face and head.

His wife Kathleen and the couple’s daughter Gillian discovered his body the next evening.

Lingurar Jnr had worked as a doorman at the pub for a week before the fatal attack and had planned to rob Kenny of his receipts when the accused returned to the premises after closing time to let in his gang mates.

He was subsequently sentenced to nine years in prison after being found guilty of manslaughter by a jury at Galway Circuit Criminal Court in January 2019.

Lingurar Jnr, who is now 27, later appealed the severity of the sentence on the grounds that the trial judge failed to give sufficient weight to his age at the time of the offence.

In a judgment delivered today by the President of the Court of Appeal, Justice George Birmingham, sitting with Justice Patrick McCarthy and Justice Isobel Kennedy, the sentence handed down by Justice Rory McCabe in May 2019 was overturned.

Noting that the appellant was “physically mature beyond his years” and that this maturity had helped him secure employment as a doorman, Judge Birmingham also acknowledged that Judge McCabe had been “aware that the appellant was not a party to the violence”. inflicted on Mr. Kenny.

The judge also said it was clear “that the crime had a very serious impact on members of the Kenny family”.

Reducing the appellant’s jail sentence by one year, Judge Birmingham said “10 years for a 16 year old is out of the range”.

“Under these circumstances, we have decided to overturn the sentence imposed by the circuit court,” he said.

At a hearing yesterday, Colman FitzGerald SC, for Lingurar Jnr, said the main ground of appeal related to the ‘trial judge’s treatment of the appellant’s age’ at the time of the offense .

The title phrase had been “too high” and there was “an error in principle”, he continued, given the caller’s age and guilt on the night in question.

If the judge had sentenced an adult for a similar crime, the overall sentence should have been “much higher” than the 10 years Judge McCabe assigned for his client.

The basis on which the jury was asked to convict the appellant was related to the fatal assault on Kenny, the lawyer continued, even though it was never in question for the prosecution that his client participated to Kenny’s “coercion or assault”.

“There is no evidence to draw this conclusion,” he said.

However, Judge McCarthy noted that Kenny’s murder had been “a crime of common design” and, in this regard, Lingurar Jnr “bears this responsibility” for the events of that night.

Patrick Gageby SC, for Director of Public Prosecutions, said the theft was planned and was a “flagrant breach of trust”.

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“It was all done for money. Mr. Kenny was left dying or dead,” he added.

Referring to the transcript of proceedings from Lingurar Jnr’s trial, Gageby added: “It appears that the trial judge considered youth and moral culpability when setting the primary sentence.

“Had the appellant been implicated in the mistreatment of Kenny, the primary sentence would have been much greater.”

Last July, the Court of Appeal refused to allow Lingurar Jnr to appeal his manslaughter conviction during a hearing in which the deceased’s daughter, Gillian Kenny, asked the court not to allow the call.

Following the 2011 burglary and murder, Lingurar Jnr breached his bail conditions, fled Ireland and returned under a false name, which delayed his trial until 2019.

Following a confusion, his appeal was not filed within the required time.

In the judgment, the presiding judge, Judge George Birmingham, said Ms Kenny had described “in very powerful terms the impact that the murder of their father had on the Kenny family and how much they found very long criminal proceedings”.

Judge Birmingham said the grounds of appeal that had been filed had little chance of success. The interests of justice, he said, would be better served by denying the application to appeal the conviction.