Former GAA star 'a risk to public'

Former GAA star 'a risk to public'

Self-confessed teenage killer and former rising Tyrone GAA star Sean Hackett, who shot his 60-year-old father Aloysius 'Wishie' Hackett because he wanted him to be his guardian angel, remains a substantial and significant risk to the public and should be jailed for life, a prosecution lawyer has claimed.

Hackett, 18, has been convicted of manslaughter and sentencing has been reserved until after the Easter break.In final submissions, prosecution QC Ciaran Murphy said the unprovoked shooting could attract a minimum sentence of at least 15 years, which could then be increased given the aggravating features.He said the term could then be reduced to take into consideration Hackett's "deminshed responsibility".However, a defence lawyer said that, in line with psychiatric reports, any risk the 19-year-old former GAA footballing star posed, could be reduced by proper close monitoring and assessment, coupled with any required treatment, by professionals while he was in custody.Defence QC James Gallagher also argued that authorities have stated that any minimum period "should be considerably reduced" in any murder case which was a border-line one of manslaughter.He also reminded the court that Hackett was convicted only of manslaughter, which would reduce the term even further, before his mental condition at the time was brought into consideration.Sentence on Hackett who shot his father twice in the head, in the driveway of their Aghindarrah Road family home in Augher, Tyrone, on 4 January last year, has been reserved until after the Easter recess by trial Judge Mr Justice Stephens.Awaiting sentence with him is his 18-year-old friend Ronan Mulrine from Dunroe Road in the town, who admitted supplying Hackett with the .22 Czech hunting rifle he used in the shooting.Dungannon Crown Court, sitting in Belfast's Laganside Courthouse, heard that Mulrine had loaned him his father Gabriel's rifle after Hackett said he needed it to shoot rabbits, or "for a job".However, Mr Murphy said it was not the prosecution case, nor was it suggested, the teenager knew anything of Hackett's intention of shooting his father.Defence QC Aiden Coultan said that Mulrine had been "star-struck and in awe" of Hackett and told police that he would have done and given him anything and that he trusted him.He added that it was because of his lack of foresight, given the very high regard in which he held his friend that he found himself in the dock.Mr Coultan said it was a "burden" which the teen will have to carry with him for the rest of his life.


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