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Man gets six years for stabbing girlfriend

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Man gets six years for stabbing girlfriend

Post  Guest on Mon 26 Apr - 20:40

Man gets six years for stabbing girlfriend
Monday, 26 April 2010 19:59
A 45-year-old man who stabbed his girlfriend six times in the back has been sentenced to six-and-a-half years in prison.

Clive Butcher was found guilty in February of the manslaughter of 28-year-old Rebecca Hoban at his flat on Ranelagh Road in December 2008.

The trial heard Butcher had moved to Ireland from the UK five years ago. He was a drug addict who was sleeping rough when he met the mother-of-one.

Butcher had admitted manslaughter but denied murder.

The trial heard that the victim had got into difficulties in life, including drug addiction. She met Butcher while sleeping rough in the Phoenix Park.

He told gardaí the stabbing was accidental and that it happened during a row over drugs.

However, gardaí also claimed he confessed to a deliberate killing, although this confession was not recorded.

His lawyers had urged the jury to ignore the confession, saying that 'cell-door confessions' were a thing of the past and that there was no plan, no preparation and no cover-up.

The jury found him not guilty of murder but guilty of manslaughter by a 10-2 majority.

At the sentence hearing this morning the victim's sister, Jody Hoban, told the court that the loss of Rebecca had a huge effect on them.

She described her sister as a lovely person with a heart of gold.

'Although she had a hard life and made mistakes, no-one deserved to die the way she did,' she said.

Ms Hoban added that Rebecca's ten-year-old son was left without a mother.

She said they had not seen their sister for some time, but were hoping she would get her life back on track.

In a statement read to the court by his lawyers, Butcher apologised to Ms Hoban's family and said no words could take away the pain and emptiness he had caused them. He said the events of that day were never absent from his mind and he was truly sorry.

His lawyers said it was clear that he had cared for Ms Hoban and had loved her, as she had loved him.

The court was told that on the day she died Rebecca had sent a text to Butcher saying: 'I love you Mr C Butcher.'

Defence counsel Brendan Grehan said Butcher's life was 'on the up' before the killing. He had just secured a flat, having been homeless.

The court was told that Butcher had 16 previous convictions in the UK, including one for accessing indecent images of children. However, his lawyers said he did not have a violent history.

Mr Justice George Birmingham said it was a desperately serious offence that had the background of a chaotic lifestyle involving drugs and alcohol.

He took into account the offer of a plea of guilty to manslaughter, which was rejected by the State, but was the verdict returned by the jury.
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