DPP to appeal 'unduly lenient' sentences imposed after fatal Limerick burglary

DPP to appeal 'unduly lenient' sentences imposed after fatal Limerick burglary

David Casey and Michael Casey were jailed last month PICTURES: Press 22

THE Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) is to appeal the ‘undue leniency’ of the sentences imposed on two cousins who  broke into the County Limerick home of a man who subsequently died.

David Casey, aged 33, of Carragh Park, Coolock, Dublin 17, and Michael Casey, aged 22, of Clonlong Halting Site, Southill were each jailed in early December.

The Limerick Leader has learned that legal papers were filed by the State on Tuesday indicating the DPP intends appealing the sentences.

Both defendants have admitted breaking into the home of John O’Donoghue at Toomaline, Doon on August 27, 2015.

The 62-year-old, who lived at the house with his sister, Christina, died from a heart attack shorly after he returned home to discover there were intruders at the house.

During a sentencing hearing, Sergeant Michael Reidy said attempts to resuscitate Mr O’Donoghue were unsuccessful and that he was pronounced dead at the scene.

While a post mortem showed Mr O’Donoghue suffered from heart disease, State Pathologist, Prof Marie Cassidy said the stress of what happened could not be a ruled out as a contributory factor in his death.

The defendants, the court heard, were apprehended by gardai a short time later and both expressed remorse and regret when informed Mr O’Donoghue had died.

Sgt Reidy said the defendants and another man had targeted several houses in East Limerick – including that of Mr O’Donoghue – on the same day in what he described as an “organised operation”.

Last month, Judge Tom O’Donnell sentenced each of the defendants to four-and-a-half years’ imprisonment, suspending the final twelve months.

Afterwards, members of the O’Donoghue family expressed their disappointment with the sentences imposed.

The appeal is likely to be heard by the summer.

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