Man who stabbed friend to death found guilty of murder

A man who stabbed his friend to death on O’Connell Street in Dublin has been sentenced to life in prison after being found guilty of murder and sentenced to life in prison this afternoon.

Damien Singleton, 31, 31, unsettled, has pleaded guilty to murder but not guilty of murdering Peter Donnelly, 39, of Kilkenny, O’Connell Street on June 11, 2019.

The case only came to light when Singleton, who was at a drug and alcohol party at the time, plotted to assassinate Donnelly, which led to his death.

The court denied the security charge so far that Singleton was so intoxicated at the time that he could not know what he was doing or did not know the consequences of his actions.

The case was played out with a threatening message on Donnelly’s phone and it was the Government’s intention that this, as well as how Singleton had communicated the night with the deceased, should be considered by the judges.

Lorcan Staines SC, a prosecutor, said the stabbing was “serious and destructive”, adding that less than an hour earlier Singleton had sent a message to Donnelly saying, “I promise, I will cut your neck. Pray. I will not find you. I will kill you. You are dead.”

“That’s exactly what he did. This is murder, pure and simple,” Mr Staines said in his concluding remarks to the judges.

Today, a six-man and five-woman court has handed down its verdict after four hours and 23 minutes of negotiations.

Justice Deirdre Murphy adjourned the case for life until December 3, when a trial will be held in connection with the victim.

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