'No remorse' | 

Killer who threw homeless man down rubbish chute branded 'evil to the core'

"He showed no remorse, he left him there. He could have gone back any time to get him help."
David O’Loughlin had previous murder convictions quashed.

David O’Loughlin had previous murder convictions quashed.

Eamon Dillon

A killer who escaped a life sentence after dumping a vulnerable man down a rubbish chute has been branded "evil to the core," by the victim's niece.

The 12-year sentence imposed this week on David O'Loughlin means he is likely to walk free from prison early next year after serving his time for the cruel killing of Liam Manley.

"I just hope he doesn't hurt anyone else, I hope no one else suffers at the hands of him like my uncle did - he didn't deserve that death at all," said Liam Manley's niece, Lisa Lynch.

"He showed no remorse, he left him there. He could have gone back any time to get him help."

Liam Manley died an horrific death.

Liam Manley died an horrific death.

Lisa's uncle Liam, described as a quiet, timid man who was just 5'2", died from asphyxiation after being wedged into the chute near O'Loughlin's apartment in Garden City apartments on North Main Street in Cork in the early hours of May 12, 2013.

His body was found a day later by a maintenance worker called in by residents who complained the chute wasn't working properly.

O'Loughlin's sentencing hearing last Tuesday brought an end to a long running legal battle which saw the Co Clare native tried and convicted twice for murder before his murder conviction was quashed.

"Justice didn't go our way this time, it is after coming to an end. I suppose Liam can be put to rest - he is at peace now," Lisa told the Sunday World.

"His brothers and sisters, they never had a chance, none of us had a chance to grieve properly because every couple of months there would be a new court case and then when you think it's over it's back up again.

"It just dragged on and on."

Lisa said for the family, the bottom line is that they believe O'Loughlin should be serving a life sentence for the killing.

"What happened to our uncle and brother was terrible. It is very sad, it's an awful tragic way to die.

"I suppose it just goes to show the justice system in this country. To do what he done to Liam was absolutely horrific.

"Liam died in horrific circumstances - you can only imagine his last thoughts being stuck inside a rubbish chute."

In the years before Liam died, Lisa said the people from the Simon Community at Clanmornin House were always "really good to him" and looked after him.

"He was not exactly homeless, he was always welcome in my mother's home, his sister. He would have been welcome in any of our homes, that's the way Liam chose to live. He had an addiction to alcohol, I suppose he would have been embarrassed by that at times."

The fateful night he crossed paths with O'Loughlin was unusual for Liam, according to Lisa, who said her uncle was always quiet and "timid", even with alcohol.

"It was very unusual for him to kind of go back to a stranger's home. I suppose you are drinking on the streets at that hour of the morning and you're offered another drink and to go somewhere - you would probably take up the offer.

"Mr O'Loughlin probably came across as a nice young fella looking to help, offer a drink, being a buddy kind of a way.

"Liam fell for that, I suppose.

"Even going back to the very first court case, David O'Loughlin is known for being dangerous to people, assaulting people and stabbing people. I know they are saying that he went to school and got degrees [in prison], but he is dangerous."

"He has jumped on people in parks, people that didn't know him - he seemed to target vulnerable people.

"Unfortunately, Liam happened to cross his path that night, it led to his death in a horrible, horrific way."

It emerged at previous court hearings that O'Loughlin had 54 previous convictions when he killed Liam Manley.

He was first convicted of assault in 2004 when, aged 18, he stabbed another youth three times.

In June 2005 O'Loughlin was walking down a narrow footpath when he bumped into someone walking the other way, and after a verbal exchange he stabbed the man just under the heart.

He then assaulted two foreign nationals in December that year in what a garda witness described as a "frenzied attack".

He stabbed one of the men ten times and the other about six times. "Both men were very, very lucky to survive," the garda said in evidence.

O'Loughlin was twice convicted of murdering Liam Manley but the Court of Appeal overturned the first verdict and replaced the second verdict with one of manslaughter after finding there was no evidence he intended to kill.

O'Loughlin's sentence was backdated to May 23, 2013 when he first went into custody, meaning the 34-year-old can expect to be released in early 2022.

The appeal judge said O'Loughlin was "extremely callous" and had assaulted a "vulnerable man" who showed him no aggression.

The judge also noted O'Loughlin's lack of compassion in failing to check Mr Manley's condition when he should have realised the danger he was in.

He added: "He has a serious propensity for violence, not just a bad temper."

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