An Offaly man who tried to set fire to a murder victim’s body has walked free from court after being in custody since 2014.
27-year-old Matthew Cummins of Churchview Heights in Edenderry was originally found guilty of the murder of Thomas Dooley but that was quashed on appeal.
The 64-year-old was beaten to death with a baseball bat at his home in February 2014, in what was described as a brutal, motiveless attack on a defenceless elderly man.
He suffered eight blows to his head and attempts were made set him on fire after he died.
Three men were found guilty of his murder but two of them had the convictions quashed on appeal this Summer.
At the Central Criminal Court today, Matthew Cummins, who has been in custody since 2014, was resentenced for impeding the apprehension or prosecution of a person.
His barrister Caroline Biggs told the court that her client admits trying to burn the victim’s body – describing it as a despicable act which he accepts and is ashamed about.
She said he acted out of shock and had already served seven years after being wrongly convicted of the most heinous crime in law.
The 27-year-old was resentenced to nine years in prison with two suspended – meaning he’s a free man having served his time already.
Judge Michael White told him: ‘You’ve a terrible record and now have the opportunity to live a life away from crime - so take it when you get it.’