Christy Hanley killer to be sentenced today

The 47-year-old man who killed Kilbeggan pensioner Christy Hanley last year is to be sentenced today, Friday July 10.

Noel Cawley, of no fixed abode but originally from Castleblaney, Co Monaghan, was found guilty in May of the manslaughter of Mr Hanley at his home on Bridge Street, Kilbeggan on May 22 last year.

At last Friday’s sentencing hearing, the court heard that Cawley has 12 previous convictions for offences including theft, burglary, larceny, and malicious damage. In 2002 he was convicted of attempted rape and sentenced to eight years with one year suspended, and released in April 2005.

Mr Hanley was found dead on his living room floor having been beaten on the head, shoulders, arms and legs. His hands and feet were tied.

The 83-year-old was well known in the area as a horse trader who carried large amounts of cash. Cawley came into contact with him in various pubs in Kilbeggan during the day on May 21 last year, and was seen lurking around his house later that evening.

He phoned Gardai in Tullamore from Dublin the next morning stating that Mr Hanley was tied up in his home.

A victim impact statement was read out in court last Friday by Mr Hanley’s niece Breda Harvey, who said the family were “shocked and sickened at the unnecessary violence” unleashed upon her uncle. “He was an 83-year-old man, 5ft tall and of slight build. He posed no threat to Noel Cawley as he was unable to defend himself from such a brutal and sadistic attack in his own home,” she said, describing Cawley as a “monster” who showed no remorse.

Defence counsel, Patrick Gageby SC, said “some attribution of decency” should be given to his client for telephoning Gardaí, an act which was “inconsistent” with a calculated plan.

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