Guilty plea | 

Two-year sentence for one-punch attack that killed dad-of-four Jason Kearney

Ian Moore told gardaí that Jason Kearney, a stranger, had come to his house in early hours of morning and forced his way inside

Ian Moore was sentenced to two years for unlawful killing

Fiona Ferguson and Brion Hoban

A man who punched a father-of-four once leading to a fall that resulted in fatal head injuries has been jailed for two years.

Ian Moore (31) told gardaí that Jason Kearney, a stranger, had come to his house in the early hours of September 2, 2020 and forced his way inside.

He said he pushed him out, but his partner mistakenly believed her bag had been stolen and Moore left the house with the intention of retrieving it.

Dublin Circuit Criminal Court heard that Moore told gardaí there had been a series of verbal interactions before he punched Mr Kearney once.

He fell backwards and hit his head.

Mr Kearney died after 10 days in a coma when his family had to make the decision following medical advice to turn off his ventilator.

His family say they are now left serving a life sentence.

Mr Kearney's family told the court that they don't believe he was a threat to anyone and ask why Moore did not contact gardaí instead of "taking the law into his own hands".

Moore, of Portland Close, Dublin city pleaded guilty to the unlawful killing of Jason Kearney at Seville Place, Dublin 1. He has no previous convictions.

Passing sentence yesterday, Judge Melanie Greally said it is very clear Mr Kearney was "dearly loved" by his family, by his four children and his two grandchildren.

She said his death has caused them "intense pain" from which they have no relief.

The judge said the culpability of the accused man lies in the fact he took the law into his own hands and pursued Mr Kearney after he had retreated and punched him after he had ceased to be a threat to him.

She said the act was impulsive, emotional and ultimately violent, but it was not premeditated.

She said the case was further mitigated by his returning to the scene, contacting emergency services and tending to Mr Kearney until they arrived.

The judge said other mitigating factors included his plea of guilty, his high level of assistance to the investigation, his lack of previous convictions, his high level of remorse, his low risk of reoffending and the impact his incarceration will have on his family.

She said that having carefully considered whether a custodial sentence is appropriate, she had reached the conclusion the offending must be marked with a custodial sentence. Judge Greally sentenced Moore to two years imprisonment.

Jason Kearney

After the sentence was passed, a woman in the body of the court was heard to say "murdering b*****d" before she quickly left the court.

Another woman in the body of the court burst into tears and could be heard saying "please don't take him away" and "he doesn't deserve this".

During a previous sentencing hearing, Attracta Kearney, Jason's mother, described her son as a "caring, gentle, kind hearted soul".

"I believe had Ian Moore felt threatened in any way whatsoever then he should have called the gardaí, not taken it upon himself to follow my son and assault him in such a manner that it resulted in my son Jason's untimely death," she wrote in her statement.

"What kind of person does something like that? I do not believe that Jason was a threat to anyone that night.

"There are so many questions that we will never get the answers to.

"The never-ending pain that Ian Moore has caused my family is immeasurable and I will never, ever, forgive him for it."

Jason's sister Lorraine Kearney asked Moore: "Why did you take the law into your own hands? Why did you engage with Jason at the door?

"Why didn't you ring the guards? Why did you follow him? If you had done the right thing neither party would be here today.

"Whatever happens here today, you will get a chance to rebuild your life. We won't." she said.

Mr Munro read a portion of a letter of apology written by Moore in which he outlined he was "so sorry for the pain and suffering" he had caused to the Kearney family.

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