Court of Appeal increases Kerryman’s sentence to 9 years for manslaughter

The Court of Appeal has increased the sentence given to a North Kerry farmer for manslaughter.

In November 2018, 64-year-old Michael Ferris of Rattoo, Ballyduff was found guilty by a jury of the manslaughter of Anthony O’Mahony at Rattoo on April 4th, 2017.

In December 2018, Ms Justice Carmel Stewart handed down a six-year sentence to Mr Ferris, with the final 12 months suspended for three years.

The Director of Public Prosecutions lodged the appeal on the grounds of undue leniency.

Delivering the judgement of the Court of Appeal, Mr Justice Bermingham said the initial five-year sentence did not reflect the seriousness of the crime.

Ms Justice Carmel Stewart said the appropriate headline sentence was 12 years but with discounts for his lack of previous conviction and to incentivise rehabilitation, reduced the term to six years with the final year suspended.

However, the Court of Appeal quashed the net five-year sentence and replaced instead with a nine-year term backdated to when Mr Ferris went into custody in April 2017.

Michael Ferris had killed Anthony O’Mahony by driving his teleporter into Mr O’Mahony’s car, fatally injuring the deceased who suffered horrendous injuries.

The trial of a row between the parties over Mr O’Mahony’s use of a crow-banger.

Mr Justice Bermingham said there was an “intention to kill” and “a degree of pre-consideration” taking that with the “gross level of violence involved”, Mr Justice Bermingham said it has to be placed at the high end of manslaughter cases.

He set a headline sentence of 15 years, discounted by no more than one third and taking previous good character into consideration, imposed an actual sentence of nine years.