Ireland stag trip killer gets suspended sentence

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An Englishman on a stag trip to Ireland who killed a man by beating him with a golf club and pushing him into a river in Cork walked free from court yesterday.

Peter Nugent, 38, from Faringdon, Oxfordshire, was given a 12-year suspended sentence and ordered not to return to the Irish Republic during that time after he admitted manslaughter.

The night before the killing, Michael Kelly, 43, had robbed Nugent at the stag party in Cork, the city's Circuit Criminal Court was told.

Nugent said he had become separated from 20 of his friends during the evening and was confronted by Mr Kelly and another man on Albert Quay who demanded his wallet. He said they assaulted and robbed him and that he reported the crime to the police.

The following day, after another bout of drinking, Nugent borrowed a friend's golf club and decided to try to retrieve his money. He found 43-year-old Kelly, who had four children, asleep under blankets on Albert Quay, and attacked him with the club. During the row, Nugent pushed Mr Kelly and he fell into the River Lee. Mr Kelly was unable to swim and he drowned.

Judge Murphy said Nugent had been attacked in Cork Prison while he was awaiting trial and that it would be almost inhuman fo him to spend more time there. He said he was satisfied that Nugent, who has no previous convictions, was not a violent character.

He said the events, which would affect Nugent for the rest of his life, were influenced by alcohol and that the drowned man was not entirely innocent. He imposed the suspended sentence on condition that Nugent did not reoffend.