Last Updated on October 26, 2022
Dean Kerrie, now 21, was sentenced to three-and-a-half years in prison for fatally stabbing a home intruder in 2018. Justice Paul McDermott said that Kerrie, who was 17 at the time, was “entitled to self-defense,” but added that the teen used “grossly” excessive force since the home invader was unarmed.
Jack Power, 25, was drinking heavily on the night of the incident, authorities said. The intruder reportedly drove to Kerrie’s Waterford residence, where he lived with his mother, after noticing damage on his car, which he attributed to the then-17-year-old.
Once there, Power used a rock to smash the residence’s front window before entering through the front door. After assaulting both Kerrie and his mother, the teen grabbed a knife that was by his bedside and used it to stab Power.
The teen then called the police himself, after which responding officers found Power dead.
Despite the fact that Power illegally entered the home, Dean Kerrie was sentenced to four years and six months with the final year suspended for two years. The sentence is backdated to June 30th of this year to take into account time Kerrie has already spent in custody, The Irish Times reported.
The Waterford native was twice tried for murder but was ultimately convicted of manslaughter by a jury this past July.
Judge McDermott said that he does not believe the court has heard the truth about the “provenance of the knife and how it was found but he armed himself quickly,” in order to use it.
“I have to consider the nature of what happened that night. The Oireachtas has recognized the special position of those obliged to defend themselves or their property from unlawful attack, particularly in their home. That is therefore a matter that has to be taken into account when considering the culpability of the accused. Those who are attacked in the home are entitled to use force and sometimes lethal force in defense of themselves and their home,” the judge said.
Upon sentencing Dean Kerrie, McDermott noted that Power attacked the residence “without warning.” He also took note of the defendant’s age, saying that Kerrie would be looking at seven years if he was an adult.
Dean Kerrie is considered a “moderate risk of violent offending in the future” and will be required to undergo anger management training upon his release.
Judge McDermott described the deceased home invader as an “exceptionally hard-working young man” who loved his work as a fisherman and was “fueled by his father’s encouragement”. He also said Power was a “role model and a fun companion for his brothers,” adding that his loss is “incalculable.”