'snapped' | 

Dad who stabbed brother-in-law to death told gardai ‘he had it coming for 12 years’

The court heard that the defendant had been drinking and taking tablets when he ‘snapped’ and stabbed his brother-in-law during a row

Andrew Cash and (right) John Cash

John Cash

Eoin Reynolds

A father-of-three who believed his brother-in-law had been "intimate" with his wife in the past stabbed his relative to death and told gardai: "He had it coming for 12 years", the Central Criminal Court has heard.

At a sentencing hearing this morning, Michael Delaney SC for the Director of Public Prosecutions suggested that Andrew Cash should face a headline sentence of between ten and 15 years for killing John 'Johnny' Cash.

The court heard that the defendant had been drinking and taking tablets when he "snapped" and stabbed his brother-in-law during a row.

Also at today's hearing, the deceased's family described him as a "gentle giant with a big heart" in a series of statements written by his wife, seven living children and eleven siblings.

Johnny's wife Elizabeth, who is also the defendant's sister and who witnessed the fatal assault, said she no longer feels safe.

She added: "If my brother can do that, anyone can."

She said that Johnny loved his children and spent many fun hours playing with them and bringing them swimming and fishing. Since his death, she said they don't go anywhere and there is "an empty space in our lives that can't be filled. I miss him every day."

John Cash

Ms Justice Eileen Creedon will pass sentence on February 19 next.

Andrew 'Andy' Cash of Highrath, Clara, Co Kilkenny, had been accused of the murder of John Cash (40) at Hebron Road, Kilkenny City, on May 3, 2022.

Cash (30) was also accused of assault causing harm to Elizabeth Cash and of the production of a knife during the course of a dispute or fight at around 12.30pm on the same date and at the same location. At the Central Criminal Court last month a jury returned a 10-2 majority verdict on all charges in the case, finding Cash not guilty of murder but guilty of the manslaughter of John Cash and not guilty of both the production of the knife during the course of a dispute and of the assault causing harm charge.

At today's hearing Det Sgt Brian Sheeran told Mr Delaney that John Cash married the defendant's sister Elizabeth in 2000 and they had nine children together, two of whom passed away.

There had been a "history" between them as the defendant believed that his wife had "been in some way intimate with John Cash some ten or twelve years prior."

On the day of the killing Andy Cash had an argument with his wife about what he believed had happened years earlier, the sergeant said.

There was evidence that Andy Cash encountered John Cash in Kilkenny City later that day, got out of his car and made obscene gestures while shouting towards his brother-in-law.

The defendant then got back into his car and drove at speed with the door still open before again encountering John Cash at Hebron Road. Mr Cash, who gave evidence during the trial, said he had a knife in his car that he would use to fix the car radio. He said he took the knife with him because he "wanted to confront" John Cash.

CCTV from the scene showed John Cash backing away from the defendant before falling over and being struck repeatedly by Andrew Cash, the witness said.

John Cash got up from that assault and made his way across the road where the final assault took place while Elizabeth tried to intervene to protect her husband. Det Sgt Sheeran agreed with Mr Delaney that the defence said that this was the point when the stabbing occurred.

Cash, in evidence, said that the deceased told him he would come to his house later, which the defendant took to be a threat that he would come to his house for a row. He said he "snapped" after hearing this and stabbed the deceased.

During the trial, Andrew Cash's lawyers told the jury that if the accused was so provoked by the alleged threat made by John Cash that he suffered a sudden and total loss of self-control, then he should be found guilty of manslaughter and not murder.

Gardai arrived at the scene and noted that Andrew Cash was "very aggressive and continued to shout threats and abuse at John Cash as he lay injured on the ground."

Det Sgt Sheeran said gardai noted that the defendant told John Cash, "You got what you deserved." After he was arrested and placed in a garda car, Cash said: "He had it coming to him for twelve years."

A pathologist told the trial that John Cash had suffered two stab wounds. The fatal wound was to the chest and went to a depth of eight centimetres and penetrated the heart.

Det Sgt Sheeran said the defendant was unemployed at the time and had 19 previous convictions, four for public intoxication and the rest for road traffic matters.

Family liaison officer Gda Lisa Mullins read from a series of statements made by the wife, children and siblings of the deceased.

His sister Brigid said her brother loved animals, collected stray dogs and would never pass a homeless person without giving them food or money. She described him as a "gentle giant with a big heart". Margaret Cash described her brother as a "rock" and a father figure to her two children.

Cash's defence counsel James Dwyer SC told the court that the evidence is that his client "spontaneously armed himself" with a knife that was in his car. He said there is "nothing to suggest he had it in mind to hunt down the deceased".

He said that his client offered to plead guilty to manslaughter before the trial but that was rejected by the State. He also pointed to the medical and psychological difficulties his client suffers with and the remorse he expressed for what he had done.

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