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Man Handed Life Sentence For "Gruesome" Murder Of Friend In Midlands Wood

Philip Finnegan’s body was found in Rahin Woods in September 2017.

A man has been handed a life sentence for murdering his friend, whose body was found in a shallow grave in a woodland in Co. Kildare four years ago.

Stephen Penrose, of Newtown Court, Malahide Road, Coolock, Dublin 17, tried to make a statement after he was sentenced but the judge wouldn’t allow it.

Philip Finnegan’s decapitated body was found in Rahin Woods, Co Kildare in September 2017 - three weeks after his mother reported him missing.

Stephen Penrose, who sacked his legal team and represented himself for a while before refusing to sit through the trial, was found guilty of his murder.

At his sentence hearing today, Philip’s mother, Angela, spoke of the unbearable pain she endured during those weeks when her son was missing.

She said the “gruesome and horrific” death he suffered had traumatised her for life. 

Speaking to Penrose directly, she told him he inflicted more torture on her by choosing to cross-examine her during the trial. 

Penrose already has a conviction for killing someone and also has previous convictions for firearms and drugs offences and for attacking prison officers.

He tried to address the court again today but the judge wouldn’t allow it. Five prison officers then surrounded him and he was led away to begin his life sentence.



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