Belfast Telegraph

Kerry farmer Michael Ferris could be free after two years for brutal killing of neighbour Anthony O'Mahony

By Eimear Cotter

A farmer jailed for five years for killing his elderly neighbour in Co Kerry with the prongs of a teleporter could be released within two years.

Michael Ferris (63) "deprived Anthony O'Mahony of his life in appalling circumstances", said a judge during his sentence hearing, adding that the deceased man had suffered "horrific, horrible" injuries.

In October, Ferris, of Rattoo, Ballyduff, was found not guilty of murder but guilty of the manslaughter of Mr O'Mahony (73) at Rattoo on April 4, 2017, by a jury at the Irish Central Criminal Court sitting in Tralee.

Ferris had "snapped" over a crow banger, the court had heard.

Yesterday, Ms Justice Carmel Stewart imposed a six-year sentence, suspending the final 12 months for three years.

With remission and time already served, Ferris is likely to be out of prison by Christmas 2020.

Judge Stewart said it was of "profound regret", not just to the court, but to all residents of Rattoo, that the issue of the noise from the crow banger had not been dealt with in some other way.

The judge said that Ferris inflicted "horrific, horrible" injuries on Mr O'Mahony.

Judge Stewart said the "nature and duration of the attack was truly gruesome and horrific" and "defied belief and imagination".

She said that a small token of consolation for the victim's family was that, on the evidence of a pathologist that his death was instantaneous.

The judge also said the effect the killing had and continued to have on Mr O'Mahony's family was difficult to quantify.

She reiterated her sympathies to Mr O'Mahony's family and told them the court was constrained by previous cases and authorities.

"It does not diminish your grief and all I can do is hope you will come to some peace and happiness by way of getting on with your own lives," the judge said.

Belfast Telegraph

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