Belfast Telegraph

Friday 26 December 2014

Kilkenny woman is guilty of killing her brother

A woman is to be sentenced today after being found guilty of killing her brother following a house party in December 2008.

Caroline Brennan (19), of Castlecomer, Co Kilkenny, was convicted by a jury last night of the manslaughter of her brother Michael Brennan (22).

She had pleaded not guilty to murder and, following a trial at the Central Criminal Court, sitting in Waterford, was found not guilty of murder but guilty of manslaughter. She was remanded on continuing bail pending sentencing today.

The trial heard that Michael Brennan was stabbed once in the heart after a party in his uncle's house in Barrack Street, Castlecomer, on December 30, 2008.

The deceased had earlier punched his girlfriend, Lisa Peagram, and sent a threatening text message to Caroline Brennan after an argument with Caroline's boyfriend. Her brother said in the message he would “kill” her and her boyfriend Keith Byrne, only he “liked” Keith, the accused said in evidence yesterday.

She told the jury she was afraid for her life and that her brother “had gone completely mad” the night she stabbed him in the chest.

Last week the jury heard that the accused told gardai her brother was mean to her as she was growing up, and was always threatening her and bullying her. She had once woken up to find him pressing a pillow on her head and he threw her down the stairs on another occasion.

Dr Michael Curtis, deputy state pathologist, told the court Mr Brennan died from a single knife wound to his chest and that toxicology results were positive for cocaine, heroin and a blood alcohol count of 240mg.

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