Limerick man John Lysaght avoids jail term in shooting incident
Mr Lysaght’s solicitor Katie McAllister of Madden & Finucane Solicitors stated after court:
“We are pleased that Mr Lysaght has received a fair sentence today which reflects the minor role he played in this incident.”
A YOUNG Limerick mother watched as her partner was shot by masked gunmen at the front door of their home while her four-week old infant and two year old child slept inside, a court has heard.
The evidence was given in the sentencing hearing of John Lysaght (27) originally from Prospect, who pleaded guilty to a firearms offence at Limerick Circuit Court.
Garda Sgt Brian O’Connor, told the court that on December 12, 2013, a shooting was carried out at the home shared by Sean Finnan and his partner Leanne Casey.
Ms Casey said that she went outside her house to where Sean was smoking. She said that she noticed a masked man who approached their gate as the couple was returning inside.
Shots were discharged and Sean Finnan was struck by 24 pellets in the abdomen, chest and hands.
Ms Casey described how shotgun pellets “spattered” the house and how some struck the car seat in which her four week old baby was sitting.
One month later, two men were arrested, one of which was Ian Horgan, a convicted rapist and killer originally from Cork but who had relocated to the Prospect area.
He was charged in connection with the incident but a jury acquitted him of the possession of a firearm with the intent to endanger life.
Lysaght, who admitted standing behind the shooter, pleaded guilty to the lesser charge of the reckless discharge of a firearm.
In his interviews with Gardai, Lysaght said that he met a man and bought drinks at a nearby off-licence and drank them locally before he and the shooter went for a walk.
Lysaght said that the gun was produced from black plastic wrapping, loaded and then concealed up the sleeve of the shooter whom he did not name.
There was history of a dispute between the shooter and the victim, the court heard.
As the pair arrived at the gate, Lysaght said that the shooter walked up to the gate and there was a “load bang” as the shooting took place.
The pair fled afterwards and went to an unnamed house and their clothes were burned after they changed.
The court heard that Sean Finnan was not available to give evidence in the trial of Ian Horgan and that he was out of the jurisdiction.
Prosecution Counsel John O’Sullivan said that as there was little or no evidence to attach Lysaght to the shooting, his admissions and guilty plea were welcome.
Defending, Brian MacCartney QC said that it wasMr Lysaght’s admission that brought him to court and that his evidence was that he was “a good bit back” from the incident.
He asked the court to take into account that the 27-year-old father of one, had changed his life, was employed and moved from the area.
Judge O’Donnell recognises the position of the State that the accused was not the person who discharged the firearm., but he must bear the responsibilities of his actions as a willing participant.”
Lysaght’s previous convictions for violent disorder and assault showed a propensity for violence, Judge O’Donnell said as he imposed four years, suspended for four years.
“I am giving you a substantial chance,” Judge O’Donnell said.