Vicious  | 

Man sentenced to life for murder of homeless man found beaten in Dublin park after casino win

Romanian gypsy Feri Anghel had pleaded not guilty to the murder but was unanimously convicted by a Central Criminal Court jury
Ioan Artene Bob

Ioan Artene Bob

Paul Neilan

A Romanian gypsy man has been sentenced to life imprisonment at the Central Criminal Court for the "vicious and cynical" murder of a homeless man who was found badly beaten in a Dublin city park after a casino win.

It marked the conclusion of Feri Anghel's second trial for murder, with a previous jury having failed to reach a verdict in August of last year. Anghel has multiple previous convictions, including one for attempted murder.

Father-of-one Ioan Artene Bob, a construction worker, was found lying in undergrowth on the morning of April 13, 2018, by walkers at Sean Walsh Memorial Park in Tallaght.

Gardaí investigating the death of Mr Bob (49) believed that a possible motive could have been connected to a casino win he had days before his death.

The court heard he had won around €2,700 at a casino in Dublin city centre on April 9, 2018, but that he had already sent the bulk of the money to his family in Romania by the time he was attacked, three days later.

Mr Paul Greene SC, prosecuting, told the trial jury that news of the "stroke of luck" would have quickly travelled throughout the Romanian community in Dublin.

Mr Bob was taken to Tallaght Hospital by ambulance due to his injuries but died later the same day.

On Monday at the Central Criminal Court, Mr Justice Paul Burns sentenced Feri Anghel (43) of no fixed abode to the mandatory life sentence for the "cynical, vicious and extremely violent" attack on Mr Bob, who the judge described as a "decent and hard-working man".

Anghel had pleaded not guilty to the murder but was unanimously convicted by a Central Criminal Court jury on April 14 of this year.

Today, Detective Sergeant Seamus Palmer of Tallaght Garda Station told Mr Greene that Anghel had 24 previous convictions from Romania, France and Ireland. He said that 11 of those convictions came from Irish courts.

Anghel's criminal record included convictions for attempted murder in Romania, aggravated theft, criminal damage, violent behaviour in a Garda station and a number of road traffic offences.

Det Sgt Palmer read out a statement from the family of Mr Bob, members of which were present in the court.

Det Sgt Palmer said Mr Bob had six sisters and three brothers who were "profoundly shocked" by his murder.

Det Sgt Palmer said that Mr Bob would send home around €200 a week for his 12 year-old son, Ionut, for whom he wanted to build a home.

Members of the family, said Det Sgt Palmer, still suffered panic attacks and had psychological damage due to the murder, with some relations unable to return to work because of his killing.

After the family's statement was read out, Anghel stood up and asked to speak on his own behalf. Mr Justice Burns rose for five minutes to allow time for defence barrister Padraig Dwyer SC to speak to his client.

After a consultation with Anghel, Mr Dwyer then told the court that he and his legal team would be coming "off record" due to a "trust" issue with Mr Anghel.

Mr Justice Burns did not allow Anghel to address the court, saying that Anghel had his opportunity to do so when the trial was ongoing and that any "irrelevant" statement now from Anghel could cause "further upset and stress" to the bereaved.

In sentencing Anghel to life imprisonment, Mr Justice Burns said that Mr Bob had been "cynically" lured to the park by Anghel towards the early hours of April 13, 2018.

He said that Mr Bob died from a "stamping" type attack which was "extremely violent and vicious", and noted that Anghel had a "violent history".

Mr Justice Burns said the murder of "decent and hard-working" Mr Bob had a "tragic" effect on his family, "especially his 12 year-old son".

The family, the judge said, also suffered medically and financially as Mr Bob regularly shared his money with them for doctors' bills and education.

Mr Justice Burns extended his sympathy to the family and friends of Mr Bob, before backdating the life sentence to when Anghel first went into custody on April 18, 2018.

Mr Justice Burns said that CCTV played a "vital" role in Anghel's case and generally noted the role CCTV plays "in the detection and prosecution of serious crimes".

While being led away by prison officers an irate Anghel stood and pointed at Mr Bob's family members, who were present at the rear of the court, before aggressively raising his voice towards them and speaking in Romanian.


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