Belfast Telegraph

Sunday 20 April 2014

Alcoholic killer who knifed drinking partner apologises as sentencing looms

An alcoholic who stabbed a Fermanagh GAA player to death in a drink-fuelled orgy of violence has claimed he is “riven with remorse”.

Gary Moane killed Ciaran Woods after an all-day drinking session in July 2010. He also knifed a mother-of-two and threatened to kill another man.

The 37-year-old has already pleaded guilty to manslaughter and will be sentenced on Friday.

Mr Woods (36) was stabbed twice at a house in Tempo during the early hours of July 20, 2010.

He was drinking with Moane (37), from Lasolven Park in Brookeborough, Kathleen McQuaid, Damian Crudden and Stacey Campbell.

Moane, Mr Woods, Mr Crudden and Ms McQuaid then went to the latter’s home in Tempo. Some time afterwards Ms McQuaid heard an altercation between Moane and Mr Woods in her kitchen, and Mr Woods pleading: “Don’t, don't be doing that, I’ve got a seven-year-old daughter.”

Belfast Crown Court heard that Mr Woods suffered two wounds to his heart, the second of which caused rapid death.

Although Moane was originally charged with his murder, in May the prosecution accepted his guilty plea to manslaughter.

It followed evidence that Moane was suffering from an abnormality of the mind.

“He is riven with remorse,” said defence QC Elis McDermott. “He wishes to apologise in person.”

Ms McDermott said Moane accepted his actions could not be put right. She said her client had taken every opportunity presented to him in prison to turn his life around and has vowed never to drink again.

Fr Francis Brady, the prison chaplain at Maghaberry, said Moane had expressed remorse for his actions.

The priest said Moane had expressed his “utter conviction” never to drink alcohol again.

The case was put back to Friday for sentencing.

Judge David McFarland said he wished to review what was a highly complex case, and apologised for a fourth adjournment in as many weeks.

Background

Ciaran Woods was stabbed twice in the heart in July 2010. His killer Gary Moane had been on an all-day drinking session when he carried out the attack. Moane also stabbed mother-of-two Kathleen McQuaid and threatened to kill another man, Damian Crudden, before hijacking Ms McQuaid’s taxi.

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