Sunday, July 14, 2024

Second sibling’s life sentence for Mullingar man’s murder

The murder of a 63-year-old Mullingar native, Thomas Horan, at a housing complex for senior citizens at Cambridge Court, Ringsend, Dublin on January 6, 2014, had a sequel at the Central Criminal Court last week, when Mr. Justice Tony Hunt, who had refused to allow Kenneth Cummins (28) to withdraw his guilty plea, imposed a mandatory life sentence backdated to January 8, 2014.

Last year, Kenneth Cummins, from Ringsend Park, Dublin 4, and his older sister, Sabrina Cummins, went on trial for the murder of Thomas Horan, originally from Mullingar, who was ‘mentally challenged’ and who was married, and had lived in Dublin for most of his life.
A post mortem examination showed that the deceased had head, neck and chest injuries consistent with a severe beating.
Sabrina Cummins, who pleaded guilty, received a life sentence on November 20 last year, for the murder of Mr. Horan. Four weeks into the trial of Kenneth and Sabrina Cummins, Kenneth Cummins changed his plea of “not guilty” to “guilty”. Then some days later, he applied to vacate his plea of guilty.
Initially, Kenneth Cummins sought to blame what happened on his older sister.
In her victim impact statement, the wife of the deceased, Marge, said she would not be in a home, if Thomas (Horan) was still alive. She said she still has dreams about him.
A month ago, Mr. Justice Tony Hunt refused the defendant’s application to vacate the guilty plea, and his sentence hearing took place last week.
The Judge described the defendant – who was stated to have 77 previous convictions, including 46 public order convictions – as “cunning and calculating”. Handing down sentence, he said that this was a case where the “current situation is” that Kenneth Cummins pleaded guilty, albeit at a late stage to a charge of murder.
“That is the position it is in now and Mr. Cummins wants it to be otherwise. I propose to say no more about his withdrawal of the plea, but that it has been rebuffed. Another court can express their views and the shenanigans that surround this straightforward case,” he said.
Mr. Justice Hunt said it was important to take a step back and look at the death which Mr. Horan received at the hands of these two individuals.
“This man received a slow death; the life was strangled and squeezed out of him over a long period of time. There must have been a contribution from both people,” he said.
He also stated that the “deep and profound effect on his wife” has been very eloquently set out.
“They were still very close. The only abuse that went on in this case was the abuse of a man who was a soft touch. He was a modest, unassuming and gentle sort of man,” he stated.
Judge Hunt told the Central Criminal Court that while it could be said that Kenneth Cummins was not part of “an ongoing abuse of Mr. Horan”, the deceased did have a “long, hard death at the hands of both individuals”.
He concluded, saying that Kenneth Cummins had “very properly pleaded guilty” and then imposed a life sentence.

Your subscription could not be saved. Please try again.
Woohoo! Your subscription has been successful!

Subscribe to our newsletter

Keep up to date with all the latest news, offers and special announcements.