BY PETER DOYLE
A 28-YEAR-old man who ‘set upon’ a father-of-one from Kilcrohane at a homeless camp, before punching and kicking him to death, has been jailed for 11 years.
Timothy ‘Timmy’ Hourihane (53) choked to death on his own blood after he was attacked by James Brady and another man, who cannot be named for legal reasons, at a tented village for homeless people at Mardyke Walk, Cork city, in the early hours October 13th, 2019.
Brady, of Shannon Lawn, Mayfield, Cork, had pleaded not guilty to murdering Mr Hourihane, a former chef who once worked for the Hilton group in England.
He later admitted to Mr Hourihane’s manslaughter after a witness at the Central Criminal Court, sitting in Waterford, testified to seeing the accused and his accomplice repeatedly stamping on the victim’s head and body and kicking him in the groin during the prolonged assault.
After a trial lasting four weeks, the jury unanimously convicted Brady of manslaughter in favour of the murder charge sought by the State.
Sentencing Brady, Ms Justice Deirdre Murphy described the unprovoked attack which killed Mr Hourihane as ‘brutal and savage and fuelled by alcohol and drugs’.
Noting that several passers-by tried to assist the badly-beaten victim as he lay on the ground, the judge added: ‘It is probably scant comfort to the family that Mr Hourihane was not totally abandoned in the hour of his death.’
Ms Justice Murphy also said that the fact that Brady was ‘still denying the core evidence of the case, that is he repeatedly kicked the prone body’ of his victim, meant she was not persuaded to apply a discount to the headline term of 13 years. But the judge said she had noted that the defendant – who has previous convictions for theft and public order offences – was now an enhanced prisoner and suspended the final two years of the 13-year term to encourage further rehabilitation.
A post-mortem had revealed that Mr Hourihane, who was originally from Kilcrohane, suffered a collapsed lung and severe facial and head trauma as a result of the attack and the cause of death had been inhalation of blood and cardiac arrest.
At a previous hearing (March 28), a victim impact statement from Mr Hourihane’s only son, Elliot Hourihane, was read to the court where he said he would be forever ‘haunted by the horror’ of his father’s killing.
He also said he had been hoping he could in some way help his father turn his life around and move him out of homelessness – but that chance had been now taken from him.
In a victim impact statement provided by Timothy Hourihane’s brother, Denis, which was also read into the record, Denis Hourihane told how his ‘life sentence’ began the moment he was asked to identify his brother.