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Killer who fatally stabbed Gerard Burnett assaulted doorman in ‘nasty incident’

Mr Burnett suffered 30 stab wounds after he was attacked by a group of men outside his girlfriend’s house in August 2012

Andrew Gibney

Victim Gerard Burnett

Neil FetherstonhaughSunday World

A man convicted of assaulting a doorman at a Dublin shop this week was previously jailed for the horror stabbing of Gerard Burnett.

Andrew Gibney (30) was given a six-month suspended sentence for assaulting the doorman in a “nasty incident” at a Dublin convenience store.

​Gibney grabbed the doorman and pushed him back, causing him to fall to the ground.

However, it was not the first time Gibney has come before the courts.

He was previously jailed for a savage stabbing which led to the death of Dublin man Gerard Burnett.

Mr Burnett suffered 30 stab wounds after he was attacked by a group of men outside his girlfriend’s house in August 2012 and was pronounced dead in hospital a short time later.

Andrew Gibney (30) was originally convicted of the 28-year old dad’s murder and sentenced to life imprisonment in January 2014.

That conviction was overturned by the Court of Appeal in November 2016 and a retrial was ordered.

In December 2017, Gibney was sentenced to eight years with one suspended at the Central Criminal Court for manslaughter.

Victim Gerard Burnett

“I cannot say enough how sorry I am for this man’s death,” he said. “I would give anything for that night not to have happened.”

Gibney, whose address at the time was given as Dromheath Avenue, Mulhuddart, Dublin, had pleaded not guilty to murdering Burnett at Castlecurragh Vale, Mulhuddart, on August 21, 2012.

Gibney said to gardaí that he stabbed the deceased in the side three times with a knife.

The accused went to a garda station of his own free will a week after the killing and told officers: “I was involved in the incident, the chap is dead now and I need to give him peace.”

Chief State Pathologist, Professor Marie Cassidy, gave evidence that the deceased suffered 30 knife injuries, the majority being stab wounds.

She testified that the fatal injuries were six stab wounds on the right side of Mr Burnett’s chest, all of which had penetrated deeply, causing internal injuries to his right lung, heart and liver.

The prosecution’s case was that Gibney was part of a joint enterprise to murder Mr Burnett. Tom O’Connell SC, prosecuting, told the jury Gibney was one of five men who went to Mr Burnett’s house in Castlecurragh Avenue shortly before midnight.

Mr Burnett sold ecstasy and wine if the off-licence was shut but people would usually ring before calling up to the house, the court heard.

Two of the men were armed with knives and when the doorbell rang, Mr Burnett opened the door and was set upon.

Mr Burnett’s partner Denise Farrell told Mr O’Connell she was in the house that night and that their son was in bed asleep.

She said the doorbell rang and she told Mr Burnett not to answer it, but he did. She said she saw three men at the door and there was some sort of knife in one of the men’s hands.

Ms Farrell said that after Mr Burnett was dragged outside, she closed the door behind them. She ran upstairs to get her child before leaving the house through the back door and climbing over the garden fence.

A week later, Gibney's house was searched by gardaí and the next day he visited Blanchardstown Garda station where he admitted stabbing Mr Burnett three times in the side.

He told gardaí he had decided to go to Mr Burnett’s house about half an hour earlier and that the events were triggered by alcohol. Gibney said he got the knife from his house, then ran back home after the incident and washed the blade in his kitchen.

The defence argued that if the evidence pointed to a reasonable possibility that Gibney intended to cause some harm to Mr Burnett short of serious harm, the appropriate verdict was manslaughter.

A jury of five men and seven women found Gibney not guilty of murder but guilty of manslaughter.

They had deliberated for seven hours and six minutes over three days.

Members of Gibney's family wept when the verdict was announced by the court registrar.

The five-day trial heard that Gibney told gardaí in interviews that Mr Burnett had stabbed him in the shoulder with a screwdriver four years previously but the two had made amends.

This week Gibney appeared in Dublin District Court after he grabbed and pushed over a security man in what was described as a “nasty incident” .

Gibney, of no fixed address, pleaded guilty to assault and theft at Centra, King Street, Dublin 7 last November 27.

The court heard the accused had entered the store at 12.40pm and took a four-pack of beer, passing all points of payment.

When a security man attempted to stop him leaving by blocking the door, a garda told the court that Gibney grabbed the doorman and pushed him back, causing him to fall to the ground.

His solicitor Luke Staines told the court that Gibney was on a community employment scheme, was doing well and trying to contribute to society.

The doorman had not wished to provide a victim impact statement, a garda said.

Mr Staines asked the court to take account of the fact that the theft was at the lower level.

“It was a nasty enough incident for the security officer,” Judge John Brennan said.

“I take it there was drink in the background.”

The judge fined Gibney €200 for the assault and €100 for the theft charge

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