Sentencing delayed for man guilty of Dublin boy’s manslaughter

A court has heard that a man found guilty of killing a boy in Dublin has a substantial criminal record spanning almost four decades.

Last month, Dermot Griffin of Ballyfermot Road was convicted of manslaughter for setting fire to the boy's wooden hut at Rossfield Avenue in Tallaght.

Stephen Hughes was just 12 when his makeshift hut burned down in the early hours of September 1 2001.

He had been sleeping there with a friend who managed to escape the blaze. One witness said she saw Dermot Griffin setting the den on fire.

Despite initially providing him with an alibi, some years later his ex girlfriend told Gardaí he left her home that night to burn it down.

The 54-year-old father of four was found guilty of manslaughter following a three week trial.

Thirteen years have passed since Stephen's death but from the stand today, his mother Elizabeth said she still grieves for him every day.

"Our lives will never be the same," she said. "He was a beautiful, sweet and happy little boy who was just enjoying his childhood".

The court heard Mr. Griffin has served time for drug dealing and firearms offences for a criminal record that goes back to 1977.

He was due to be sentenced today but the judge said she needed more time and it was put back until later this month.

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