A YOUNG man has been sentenced to life imprisonment after he was found guilty of murdering a retired soldier at his home in Limerick city almost three years ago.
Christopher McNamara, aged 21, who has an address at Good Shepperd Villas, Pennywell had pleaded not guilty to murdering James Boyce (72) in March 2011.
The body of Mr Boyce, who served in the army in the 1950s and 1960s, was found in an upstairs bedroom of his home at Saint Munchin’s Street, Saint Mary’s Park on the evening of March 7.
During the two week trial, a jury at the Central Criminal Court heard Mr Boyce died after he was attacked with a brush handle.
It was alleged that after killing the pensioner, Mr McNamara stole a substantial amount of money from his home and that he used the money to buy a television and a second-hand car.
State Pathologist, Prof Marie Cassidy said James Boyce had been the victim of an assault and that the fatal injuries were those found on his neck.
The jury of seven men and five women heard that fingerprints found in the bedroom, where Mr Boyce’s body was found, matched the accused man.
A neighbour also gave evidence that he saw the accused man entering Mr Boyce’s house at around midnight on March 6, 2011. However, he said he did not take much notice of this as Mr McNamara was known to do odd jobs for Mr Boyce.
Evidence was also been heard the defendant admitted to his mother that he killed Mr Boyce - a number of days after his body was found.
Following less than two hours of deliberations, the jury returned a unanimous guilty verdict shortly before midday today.
Mr McNamara nodded as Mr Justice Garrett Sheehan jailed him for life.