'I hope this bold man can never hurt any child’s father again'
At Newry Crown Court Judge Gordon Kerr QC told remorseless Daniel Carroll, who still maintains his innocence, the “lack of humanity” he displayed toward his stricken and dying victim, even trying to run him over in his own car, “shows a degree of callousness far beyond the comprehension of normal people.”
During his sentencing remarks today, Judge Kerr told the 30-year-old the devastation he had wrought on the family and friends of Brian Phelan was best emphasised by a hand written letter he had received from the victim's daughter.
Reading from the heart wrenching note, Judge Kerr outlined how the little girl said her daddy “was a kind and loving father".
“When I felt sad he always made me laugh. I felt safe when I was with my daddy until that bold man took him away from me," she wrote.
"On that horrible day my Jimmy told me that daddy had went to heaven. She said that he was with the angels. I was just so confused and started crying,” quoted the judge who added that at the end of the letter Mr Phelan’s daughter says, "I hope this bold man can never hurt any child’s father again.”
The jury heard that for an unknown reason, but possibly over a minor debt, Carroll stabbed Mr Phelan five times - three to the neck and two to his chest, at the top of the Carrivekeeney Road in Newry before leaving him to bleed to death in a nearby garden.
With many of Mr Phelan’s relatives watching proceedings online, they heard claims that while Carroll still maintains his innocence, he regrets his inaction in not trying to get any help for the bleeding victim, leaving him to die alone in a garden.
Jailing Carroll, who appeared by videolink from custody and who showed no emotion at any stage of the 30 minute proceedings, Judge Kerr told the remorseless killer “I find that statement unconvincing.”