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Man who killed wife in struggle spared jail


danger here

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http://www.examiner.ie/ireland/crime/man-who-killed-wife-in-struggle-spared-jail-134101.html

Inspector Eamon O’Reilly agreed with Ms Murphy that there was "an element of terrible bad luck" in that although Breen believed he had strangled his wife in fact the compression had created "interference with the nerves in her neck which caused her immediate death". He agreed he was an "honourable man" who was "bereft by the loss of his wife".

If Mr Breen was not an "honourable man" would he be serving time?I don't beleive in eternal punishment or lynching people but if you take someone's life surely you have to do some time and serve as an example for society.The irony here being that if you don't pay that tv licence you're guaranteed a visit to prison,yet if you kill someone and live in a certain area and/or are sufficiently honourable and bereft by loss it seems that the legal system takes a different view.To me this seems wrong.
 

borntorum

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Yeah, it's a tough one alright. I certainly don't think this man should go to jail for a long time, but surely this incident is not on the very minor end of the manslaughter scale. Maybe a six-year sentence with 5 years suspended, even five and a half, would have been more appropriate.

But it was a very difficult call for the sentencing judge. I wouldnt be overly critical of her
 

hmmm

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Sounds like a very sad case. We're all only humans.
 

danger here

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Yeah, it's a tough one alright. I certainly don't think this man should go to jail for a long time, but surely this incident is not on the very minor end of the manslaughter scale.
One year in prison would be enough in this case.It seems to me he received a suspended sentence due to the solid performance of his SC rather than on the merits of the case itself.
 

borntorum

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One year in prison would be enough in this case.It seems to me he received a suspended sentence due to the solid performance of his SC rather than on the merits of the case itself.
Firstly, you don't know that.

Secondly, SCs are paid to put their client's best foot forward. Im sure Mr Breen's counsel believes she has done a good job in this case, and she'd be entitled to think so.

Thirdly, the judge has to sentence both the offence and the offender. This man is in his 60s and has no previous convictions. It's pretty reasonable to assume that he won't come be coming to the attention of the gardai in the future; if he were to within four years he could find himself in jail for up to six. He was remorseful, he pleaded guilty. It was a particularly unusual and tragic situation. I can understand why the whole sentence was suspended.
 

asset test

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A sad case alright.

Many, many female killers of their husbands/partners have been spared jail too, way more than male killers of their partners.

This decision balances that out a bit. But it won't bring the dead person back either.
 
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How is this case different from a case where a wife gets a suspended sentence for killing her husband ?
 
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Bloody alcohol. Threads after threads about drug addicts but rarely a thing about the slaughter caused by alcohol.

This man will spend the rest of his days knowing that he ended the life of the mother of his children. He is being punished.
 

danger here

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Firstly, you don't know that.

Secondly, SCs are paid to put their client's best foot forward. Im sure Mr Breen's counsel believes she has done a good job in this case, and she'd be entitled to think so.

Thirdly, the judge has to sentence both the offence and the offender. This man is in his 60s and has no previous convictions. It's pretty reasonable to assume that he won't come be coming to the attention of the gardai in the future; if he were to within four years he could find himself in jail for up to six. He was remorseful, he pleaded guilty. It was a particularly unusual and tragic situation. I can understand why the whole sentence was suspended.
If someone only kills one person they are also unlikely to reoffend.I don't see how subjective issues like how much he loved his wife should interfere with the supposedly objective justice system.If he lived in Ballyfermot and was unemployed and his wife an alcoholic would Ms Justice Brian Lenihan be so lenient?

Either way,regardless of where he was from,his previous criminal record,his remorse,his honourableness he still killed his wife by what he considered to be strangulation.That surely does derserve prison time.I have no criminal record if I kill a scanger (deliberately) tomorrow in a fight in the street Dublin I'd bank on getting a suspended sentence too,jeez your honour my parents seperated,my father died a few years back.Suspended sentence 99%.

Justice system in Ireland is a joke.
 

borntorum

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I don't see how subjective issues like how much he loved his wife should interfere with the supposedly objective justice system
Who claims the justice system is objective? We haven't developed sentencing robots that are able to process all the particular variables and spew out the optimum punishment; even if we had, I doubt many people would want to use them.

If he lived in Ballyfermot and was unemployed and his wife an alcoholic would Ms Justice Brian Lenihan be so lenient?
Apparently alcohol(ism) was a factor in this death, and as other posters have pointed out, there has been more than one example of women found guilty of manslaughter receiving wholly suspended sentences. I don't see why you brought the judge's husband into it; you're not trying to prejudice people against her, are you?

Either way,regardless of where he was from,his previous criminal record,his remorse,his honourableness he still killed his wife by what he considered to be strangulation.That surely does derserve prison time
You may well be right. As I said, I do think the sentence is rather lenient, though I can see why the judge imposed it.

I have no criminal record if I kill a scanger (deliberately) tomorrow in a fight in the street Dublin I'd bank on getting a suspended sentence
If you kill anyone deliberately you'd be guilty of murder and receive an automatic life sentence.
 

White Horse

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I'm not sure why this case went to court. It was inevitable that no custodial sentence would be given. The family were united in forgiving the man.
 

borntorum

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I'm not sure why this case went to court. It was inevitable that no custodial sentence would be given. The family were united in forgiving the man.
If it didn't go to court he wouldn't have received any conviction. He did kill his wife - that had to be recognised by the State. He has not received a custodial sentence, but he still has a very serious conviction against his name (I presume he'll never be able to travel to America, for example) and is at serious risk of going to prison if he messes up even slightly over the next four years
 

danger here

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If you kill anyone deliberately you'd be guilty of murder and receive an automatic life sentence.
re the last point if I deliberately go out to kill a scumbag but say it was in self defence,he started ect,I'd be pretty confident of getting a suspended sentence.The legal system is too soft and in most cases works against the victim time and time again.When you read about individuals with 80 previous convictions reoffending while on bail something is rotten.I mentioned this judges husband because he is prominent in public life and nothing more.
 

RightCentreLeft

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Bloody alcohol. Threads after threads about drug addicts but rarely a thing about the slaughter caused by alcohol.

This man will spend the rest of his days knowing that he ended the life of the mother of his children. He is being punished.
Well said. That is much worse than any prison sentence.
 

Odyessus

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Man who killed wife in struggle spared jail | Irish Examiner

Inspector Eamon O’Reilly agreed with Ms Murphy that there was "an element of terrible bad luck" in that although Breen believed he had strangled his wife in fact the compression had created "interference with the nerves in her neck which caused her immediate death". He agreed he was an "honourable man" who was "bereft by the loss of his wife".

If Mr Breen was not an "honourable man" would he be serving time?I don't beleive in eternal punishment or lynching people but if you take someone's life surely you have to do some time and serve as an example for society.The irony here being that if you don't pay that tv licence you're guaranteed a visit to prison,yet if you kill someone and live in a certain area and/or are sufficiently honourable and bereft by loss it seems that the legal system takes a different view.To me this seems wrong.

My understanding is she attacked him with a knife. If he had pleaded not guilty as he had acted in self defence, he may have been acquitted.

I understand that he pleaded guilty to manslaughter to spare his wife's reputation and through a sense of guilt.
 

danger here

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He has not received a custodial sentence, but he still has a very serious conviction against his name (I presume he'll never be able to travel to America, for example) and is at serious risk of going to prison if he messes up even slightly over the next four years
I'm sure one year inside would be more beneficial to him and society that him going to prison for 5 years if he gets a speeding ticket or whatever gets into an argument in the pub.I'm sure it may be more beneficial to his mental state to do some time and repent to some degree,rather than walking away free and carrying a weightly guilt like that around.
Maybe I'm being too harsh but if the judge had imposed a prison sentence and told him his 1 year jail sentence reflected the court's view that he was unfortunate,his family would have a real way with dealing with what happened and can move on in some way.
 
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