A COUNTY Limerick man who was convicted of shooting another man and his pregnant sister outside a house in Newcastle West has been sentenced to nine years’ imprisonment.
Thomas McCarthy, aged 33, of Sli na Milaoise, Rathkeale had denied shooting Gerard Hennessy, 35, and Colette Hennessy, 40, outside their family home at Castleview Estate, on August 13, 2014.
During a trial at Limerick Circuit Court, a jury of eight men and three women heard that both sustained multiple pellet wounds after Mr McCarthy discharged two shots from a sawn-off shotgun at around 3.20pm before fleeing in a silver Saab car, which has never been located by gardai.
Ms Hennessy was in the early stages of pregnancy at the time and Mr Hennessy, who suffered a collapsed lung, was airlifted to Cork University Hospital for treatment.
The jury was told gardai believe the shooting was connected with a dispute over a woman between Mr McCarthy and Mr Hennessy, which dated back over a decade.
The trial heard that Thomas McCarthy, who was the subject of an exclusion order from Castleview Estate at the time of the shooting, stayed at a hotel in Cahir under a false name following the incident before travelling to the UK.
He was arrested more than six weeks later when he returned to County Limerick.
Imposing sentence today, Judge Tom O’Donnell described the shooting as “cold, calculated and planned” and said the defendant had shown a reckless disregard for adults and children who were in the area at the time.
He said McCarthy’s “complete lack of empathy and remorse” was an aggravating factor adding that he had shown disdain for the injured parties.
He said the incident was extremely serious and could have had fatal consequences.
He imposed a 12 year prison sentence, suspending the final three years for 12 years.