“I can never forgive myself” – Nach Welt

A convicted murderer went to court on Friday to appeal to his victim’s family, telling them that he could not be forgiven for the murder and that he was sorry that he had tried them.

“I made sure that his life was lost. I want forgiveness from the bottom of my heart, but I can’t ask for it because I can never forgive myself, “Damien Singleton told Peter Donnelly’s family.

Over the course of two trials, the Donnelly family had to “repeatedly” prosecute the death of their loved one on CCTV evidence that went before the jury.

“No family should see what you saw on CCTV,” Singleton told them too.

In her testimony of the impact on the victim, Mr Donnelly’s mother told Singleton that she “will not let anger get into my heart or that I am no better than the person who committed this horrific, cowardly act”.

Quoting author Lois McMaster Bujold, she told the Central Criminal Court: “The dead cannot cry out for justice; it is the duty of the living to do this for them. “

Singleton (31) without a permanent residence had on 11.

Last month he was unanimously found guilty of the murder of 11 jurors who watched the video surveillance of the knife attack and overheard a Singleton voicemail threatening Mr Donnelly from killing.

Prosecutor Lorcan Staines SC had said the stabbing was “vicious and devastating” and added that less than an hour earlier, Singleton had voiced a message to Mr Donnelly saying, “I promise I will slit your damn throat . “. Pray I don’t understand you I will slaughter you. You are dead.”

“That’s exactly what he did. This is pure and simple murder, ”said Staines in his closing address to the jury.

Paralyzed with grief

In her testimony on the impact on the victim read by Mr. Staines today, Mr. Donnelly’s mother, Pauline O’Keeffe, said that every day since the murder had been a struggle and that she was “paralyzed with grief”.

“It’s been 906 days since Peter was murdered. Every morning I wake up and the first thought in my head is that Peter is dead. I am struggling to overcome this thought. I struggle to get out of bed to go to work. I struggle to hold myself together. In fact, I couldn’t get out of bed for a long time, I was so paralyzed with grief. “

“A large part of our life, Peter, is missing – so barbaric, cruelly taken, without the possibility of saying goodbye or holding his hand. It is unbearable to think about how he died.

Ms. O’Keeffe said, “Now is the time for my words to be heard. I would like to quote the author Lois McMaster Bujold: “The dead cannot cry out for justice; it is the duty of the living to do this for them.

“I remember when he was little every night before I put him to bed he would put his head on my lap and I would rub his nose until he fell asleep. Then I carried him to bed and whispered, ‘Night, night. I love you’. The day I pushed Peter’s coffin into the chapel and down the aisle, and the coffin was opened, I rubbed his nose again and said, “Night, night. I love you.’

“That was the last time I saw Peter in this life. I’m waiting for the day I see him the next.

“I’ve experienced a lot of emotions since Peter’s death. Sadness, great sadness, helplessness, frustration and an emptiness that only a mother who has lost a child can feel. The only emotion I won’t allow myself to be is anger. Anger destroys the soul. Anger eats you up. I will not let anger get into my heart or I will be no better than the person who committed this terrible, cowardly act.

“We will always tell him [Peter] that we love him and think of him with dignity. Peter was loved very much, “she said in her statement.

Singleton, who was posting prepared notes, reached out to the Donnelly family directly, saying, as evidence, that he “was about to receive a life sentence, but it will affect me no more than what I go through thinking about it To take Peter’s life ”.

“I made sure that his life was lost. I want forgiveness with all my heart, but I can’t ask you because I can never forgive myself. Peter was a good friend of mine, he saved my life, “said Singleton.


Singleton said Mr Donnelly took him to England and taught him how to make furniture, but when they met in Dublin both men “relapsed” into drug addiction. Singleton told the family that he could not be forgiven for Mr. Donnelly’s murder and that he was sorry that they had been tried. “No family should see what you saw on CCTV,” he said.

Singleton said “all the excuses in the world” would not bring Mr. Donnelly back and that his life sentence was “negligible” compared to what the family went through.

Corina Donnelly, Peter’s aunt, described her nephew as “never a nobody, he was always a someone”. Ms. Donnelly said she could always look past Mr. Donnelly’s addiction problems to his “charming, lovable personality”, adding that he always saw the good in people. Ms. Donnelly said her family and three daughters would “never be the same”.

Ms. Donnelly said Peter lectured on mental health and addiction issues and treated her daughters “like sisters,” which resulted in “so many happy memories”. She said it was “difficult to put into words” that the family was without Peter.

She said she will forgive “the man from above” and struggle to come to terms with the “brutal” nature of his death. “The last face Peter saw was that of the person who stole his life,” she said.

In her testimony of the impact on the victim, Tracy Brennan, mother of Mr Donnelly’s youngest child, said he was “so proud, so excited” to be a father again, but he never had that chance since his little boy at the time of the His murder was seven months old.

She said her son would never have the fuss or have photos of birthdays or communions and miss “so many milestones” with his father.

“One day I’ll have to tell him why Papa is in the stars,” she said, adding that she had a “horrific breakdown” even after the murder. She said it was “difficult to see Peter in her child’s face,” but she was also blessed that her son was like his father and that she would “raise this boy to be a good man.”

In sentencing Singleton to a mandatory life sentence today, Ms. Justice Deirdre Murphy offered condolences to the “worthy” Donnelly family, who “repeatedly” witnessed Mr. Donnelly’s death in two trials.

Fine cord

Justice Murphy said there is a “fine thread that connects each of us with life” and that people are entitled to live it with “respect and dignity.”

The trial had centered on whether Singleton, who was consuming a cocktail of drugs and alcohol at the time, was able to develop an intention to kill Mr. Donnelly, which is necessary for a murder conviction.

The jury rejected the defense claim that Singleton was so drunk at the time that he could neither know what he was doing nor the consequences of his actions.

It was the second trial against Singleton after the first collapsed last September. The first trial was abandoned after a jury believed that gardaí heard him discussing testimony in the courtroom.

At that hearing, the prosecutor told the court that gardaí had “absolutely not spoken about testimony” in the courtroom but requested that the jury be dismissed on the grounds that they believed that one of their members had overheard the discussion.

The trial heard that Mr Donnelly died in the early hours of June 11, 2019 of stab wounds to his aorta and carotid artery caused by a knife Singleton wore in his sweatpants.


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