The mother of a man who was murdered and dumped in a shallow grave in Co Kildare has told his killer how his approach to his trial added to her trauma.
Angela Finnegan was speaking at the sentence hearing of Stephen Penrose, of Newtown Court, Malahide Road, Coolock, Dublin 17. She described the three-week wait to find her son’s body after he went missing in August 2017 as “unbearable.”
Phillip Finnegan suffered a gruesome death. He was stabbed a number of times, decapitated and dumped in a shallow grave at Rahin Woods, Co Kildare.
A man out walking his dogs stumbled upon his remains. Stephen Penrose denied having anything to do with it but last month, a jury found him guilty of murder. He sacked his lawyers during his trial and while representing himself, he cross-examined Mrs Finnegan, who told the court today of the added trauma that brought:
”No mother should have to sit in a witness box and be questioned by the man who murdered her son. It’s not right and shouldn’t have happened. I believe in your twisted mind you sacked your legal team to cause more misery, heartache and agony on me and my family,” she added.
Ms Finnegan also spoke of how she ensured hers were the last hands to touch her son’s body, three weeks after he was murdered. “I suppose in a way I was trying to cleanse Philly’s body of your evil vermin hands. No mother should have to do that,” she said.
Mrs Finnegan said that “the gruesome and horrific death” that Penrose had inflicted on Philip has left them “traumatised and scarred” for the rest of their lives. “We are not living, only existing. Philly was a son, father, brother and uncle. All our tomorrows were taken away” she continued.
She said that the “greatest gift in life is the heart of a child, my child“.
Mrs Finnegan also accused Penrose of sacking his legal team to cause her family even more misery and heartache. She described him as having a “twisted mind.” After delivering her statement to the court, Penrose was then handed the mandatory life sentence for murdering her son.