'River of agony and tears' left behind by fatal feud stabbing

'River Of Agony And Tears' Left Behind By Fatal Feud Stabbing
Andrew Lacey, 32, of Riverside, Loughlinstown was acquitted of murder but convicted of Derek Reddin's manslaughter. Photo: Collins Courts
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Eoin Reynolds

The fatal stabbing of a father of two has "left behind a river of agony and tears and children who will never again have the company of their father," a judge has said ahead of sentencing Derek Reddin's killer, Andrew Lacey.

Lacey was acquitted of murder but convicted of Mr Reddin's manslaughter following a Central Criminal Court trial that ended earlier this month. The trial heard that there was a "feud" between associates of the accused and deceased and on the night Mr Reddin "lay in wait" for Lacey after he left his local pub.


At a sentencing hearing on Thursday Det Gda Stephen Ryan agreed with Dominic McGinn SC, for Lacey, that the feud had nothing to do with organised crime or drugs but was "a series of fights" after two families had a falling out due to a "drunken" row. Det Gda Ryan further agreed that the deceased was "there to attack" Lacey on the night that he was fatally injured.


Ms Justice Mary Ellen Ring will sentence Lacey on Friday and said she would have to consider statements submitted to the court on behalf of both the accused and deceased. She said that she considers Lacey's production and use of a knife during the fight to be a "substantial aggravating factor" and she will have to consider the impact on Mr Reddin's family, including his two sons.

She added "I am also conscious that Mr Lacey's children have been and will be affected by the loss of him in their lives, albeit not permanently as for Mr Reddin's children."

The killing had "left behind a river of agony and tears and children who will never again have the company of their father," she said.


In a statement read out by prosecution counsel Roisin Lacey SC, Mr Reddin's mother Noleen said that Derek was her only son. "I still do not believe this has happened, words cannot express what I would do for one more moment with him," Ms Reddin said.

She said she feels "so much pain for his two beautiful boys". Their father was "always so proud of them" but they will not have him with them as they grow up, she said.

Not guilty plea

Andrew Lacey (35) of Riverside, Loughlinstown, Co Dublin had pleaded not guilty to the murder of Derek Reddin (31) at Loughlinstown Drive on a date unknown between October 14 and October 15, 2019, both dates inclusive. A ten-person jury cleared him of the murder charge but found him guilty of manslaughter.

At Thursday's sentencing hearing Ms Lacey said that the maximum penalty for manslaughter is life imprisonment but Lacey's culpability in this case falls in the middle and would attract a sentence of between four and 10 years.


Dominic McGinn SC, for Lacey, said that his client's moral culpability is at the low end of that middle bracket because he was attacked and believed that the production of the knife was justified to defend himself. Counsel said it was "perhaps unfortunate he had a knife on him" but he reminded the judge that Lacey used the knife for work and said that he inadvertently brought it with him that night.

Lacey has no previous relevant convictions and has worked since the age of 18 as a general operative in the parks department of Dun Laoghaire Rathdown County Council, counsel said. Mr McGinn handed in letters from Lacey's five children, his wife, parents, grandparents, community members and work colleagues which, counsel said, "all speak in glowing terms of his character and how this offence is not in keeping with his everyday life." Lacey himself wrote a letter which Mr McGinn said contains a "heartfelt apology" to the Reddin family.


Lacey took the stand during the trial and told the jury that he was walking home with a bag of food from the local takeaway when Mr Reddin ran across the road and attacked him with a metal baseball bat.

He described a scuffle in which Mr Reddin dropped the bat as they both fell to the ground.


Lacey said he got up and took a knife from his pocket hoping to "repel" Mr Reddin or make him run away.

However, he said Mr Reddin retrieved the bat and lunged at him again. He said they scuffled and again fell to the ground but he, Lacey, did not realise he had stabbed Mr Reddin.

Lacey said that following the scuffle Mr Reddin attacked Lacey's friend, Mark Roe with the bat but then fell to the ground and did not move again.

A pathologist would tell the trial that he died from a stab wound that penetrated his lung and heart.

Gardaí searched the area but did not find a baseball bat.

However, the defence pointed to the evidence of two nearby residents, both of whom heard something metal striking an object or rolling on the ground.

One of them said she saw someone with a baseball bat striking something on the ground.

Mr McGinn described as "ludicrous" the suggestion that there was no baseball bat at the scene.

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