Mulhall sister sentenced to life

Dublin woman, Charlotte Mulhall, who bludgeoned her mother’s African boyfriend to death and cut up his body, was today jailed for life.

Ms Mulhall and her sister Linda Mulhall, who was sentenced to 15 years for manslaughter, have been found guilty of killing Farah Swali Noor on March 20, 2005, after a drinking session at their mother’s home in Summerhill.

They chopped up the 38-year-old’s body, before dumping his headless remains in the Royal Canal at Ballybough.

The victim’s head and penis have never been found.

Sentencing the women at Dublin Central Criminal Court, Mr Justice Paul Carney said the case was the most grotesque of killings that had occurred within his professional lifetime.

Following their trial in October, Charlotte Mulhall (aged 24), of Kilclare Heights, Tallaght, was found guilty of murdering the Kenyan.

Linda Mulhall (aged 31), of the same address, was found guilty of manslaughter. The mother of four cried in court as she was sentenced today.

The jury, which took 18 hours over four days of deliberation to reach its decision, had accepted her defence of provocation.

The court heard on the day of the brutal killing Linda, Charlotte, their mother Kathleen Mulhall and her partner Mr Noor had been drinking heavily in the city centre.

Linda told gardaí that back in their mother’s flat, the women took ecstasy with Mrs Mulhall crushing a tablet into the victim’s drink so they were all on the same "buzz".

Farah is said to have made a pass at Linda, but telling him to get his hands off her sister Charlotte picked up a Stanley blade and cut his throat.

Linda admitted hitting the victim a lot of times over the head with a hammer.

The pair dragged his body into the bathroom of her mother’s flat and spent hours cutting it up with a bread knife and hammer.

He suffered more than 20 stab wounds to his body.

Mr Noor’s torso and limbs were spotted by passers-by in the canal 10 days later.

The severed head was taken in a separate bag on the bus to Tallaght where it was buried and reburied in a number of locations. It has never been recovered.

Gardaí are still trying to locate Mrs Mulhall, who is believed to have left the jurisdiction. Their father, John Mulhall, committed suicide last December, but he is not believed to have been involved in the killing.

The victim, who arrived in Ireland in December 1996 had claimed to be a Somalian called Sheilila Salim. He was granted citizenship in March 1999 on grounds he became the father of an Irish born child.

Gardaí traced his identity through media appeals and located his last address to Mrs Mulhall’s home at Richmond Cottages, Ballybough.

Despite extensive cleaning by the women, a forensic examination found traces of Mr Noor’s blood which were consistent with him dying a violent death.

The sisters and their parents were arrested in August last year, but denied any knowledge of the killing.

Just weeks later Linda contacted investigating officers admitting her involvement.

Her legal team argued that she was paramount in solving the crime, and requested a minimal sentence so she could care for her four children, who are all still at school.

“I do not regard her as a good mother being particularly persuasively, if she was a good mother of four children she would not be getting herself into a situation like that,” said Mr Justice Carney.

He argued that Linda, a heroin addict, had initially tried to halt the trial by refusing to take Methadone.

The court heard after the killing, Linda turned to drugs and alcohol, had slashed her arms, and spent over a week in a psychiatric hospital prior to court proceedings.

Last month Charlotte Mulhall, the mother of an eight-month-old baby, was convicted of prostitution.

Both women also had a history of drug and alcohol abuse.

The state had earlier appealed for sentencing to be adjourned as efforts were been made for the victim’s mother to attend the hearing. Legal teams for defence also argued that psychiatric and probation reports were not yet ready.

Dismissing the appeal, the judge refused leave to appeal both sentences. Their jail terms date back to September this year when both were remanded in custody.

Imposing the mandatory life sentence on the younger sister, Mr Justice Carney said: “This is the most grotesque of killings that has occurred within my professional lifetime.”

He told Linda that he had the power to also impose a life sentence, but as the jury had allowed a defence of provocation he had to respect that.

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