Belfast Telegraph

Teenager 'haunted' by stabbing that left father-of-one dead

By Ashleigh McDonald

Medics at Altnagelvin Hospital battled for five hours to save the life of a young father who suffered a fatal stab wound to his neck, a court has heard.

Staff at the Londonderry hospital made a "sustained but ultimately doomed" effort when Gerard Quinn was admitted on the evening of Saturday, May 21 last year.

The wound to the 24-year-old father-of-one's neck - which was caused by being struck with a vodka bottle - was so catastrophic that despite blood transfusions and attempts at resuscitation, he was pronounced dead at 4.22am on Sunday, May 22, surrounded by his family.

As details of the fatal stabbing were revealed for the first time yesterday at Londonderry Crown Court, sitting in Belfast, a barrister acting for the youth who admitted causing the fatal wound expressed his "heartfelt apologies and regret", adding that the incident will "haunt him for the rest of his life".

The defendant, who was 16 when he unlawfully killed Gerard Quinn during a violent melee in the Currynierin area of the city, was told he will be sentenced next week for the manslaughter.

Also wounded by the youth with the same vodka bottle was the deceased's twin brother, Michael.

Crown barrister Ciaran Murphy QC described what happened outside a house at Milldale Crescent on Saturday, May 21 last year as a "confused scene".

Mr Murphy said the Crown accepted the youth's plea to manslaughter, as due to the timing and speed of the incident, there was never an intention to murder.

He concluded the Crown case by saying that the Quinn family had been left "devastated" by the loss of Gerard.

Defence barrister Brian McCartney QC, representing the youth, said that in May 2016 his client was a 16-year-old looking forward to the rest of his life - but all that changed when his friend was attacked "by men he had never met before".

Pointing out that the incident only lasted a few seconds, Mr McCartney said his client "reacted in a spontaneous and impulsive manner" which had devastating consequences.

Revealing that the youth is currently studying for A-levels while on remand at Hydebank YOC, Mr McCartney spoke of his client's good background, lack of a criminal record and the fact he not only handed himself in to police, but also provided a full account of what had happened.

Mr Justice Treacy remanded the youth back to Hydebank and said that he would pass sentence next Friday.

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