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CITY TRIBUNE

Galway woman’s killer sentenced to minimum of 40 years’ jail

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A convicted sex offender who murdered a Galway woman at her home in north London, has been sentenced to life in prison, with a minimum of 40 years.

32-year-old Kasim Lewis was due to go on trial last week, having previously denied any involvement in the killing of Cathy Burke at her home in at Hill Road, Muswell Hill London.

BY SAM CORBISHLEY

However, last Monday afternoon, he pleaded guilty to her murder.

Last year, he was sentenced to life imprisonment for a separate murder on Christmas Eve, 2017 – just weeks after he murdered Ms Burke.

After his conviction, his DNA was linked to the death of Ms Burke, who was found stripped, tied up and stabbed in her house November 16, 2017.

Murderer Kasim Lewis was sentenced to a second life sentence.

The 55-year-old, a retired civil servant who was originally from Glenard in Salthill, had been living in the London property for around 20 years.

Neighbours raised the alarm after she had not been seen for a number of days, and police entered the property. She had been stabbed in the abdomen, between her shoulder blades and in her neck. There were no defensive injuries, the Old Bailey heard.

Crispin Aylett QC, prosecuting, said: “The prosecution submission is that Cathy Burke must have simply been too terrified to resist.”

Lewis was linked to the scene by DNA evidence, and experts also tracked Ms Burke’s mobile phones – which had been stolen – in the direction of where Lewis was living.

He is already serving a minimum of 29 years in jail for the brutal murder of barmaid Iuliana Tudos just five weeks after Ms Burke’s murder.

The judge described the barmaid’s murder as “barbaric”, “wicked beyond belief” and said Lewis showed “appalling brutality”.

Ms Burke’s son, Niall Galbally, stared at Lewis through the dock glass as he stepped into the witness box to read a moving victim impact statement.

“November 16, 2017 was the day my life was completely uprooted. My world came crashing down before me. In the midst of my second year at university I received a phone call from a then-neighbour who said the police and ambulance services had been outside our home for some time.

“I will never forget the chilling words that followed – Niall, I don’t know how to tell you this, but they believe your mum has been found dead. Being 70-odd miles away in Brighton, feelings of utter despair and misery have consumed me. Feelings that would only increase in unquantifiable amounts that morning when the police informed me and my family that my mum’s death was now being treated as a murder investigation.

“Growing up in London I had unfortunately become accustomed to hearing about murders on a far too regular basis. Never ever did I expect that murder would land at my front door. Nothing prepares you for that.

“There are simply no amount of words that can describe the sheer devastation that has been caused to me and my family. My life hasn’t been the same since, nor will it be the same again. A wicked and senseless attack that has caused an untold amount of pain.

“A massive hole resides in my heart for the loss of my mother and no amount of justice will mend that. But I take great comfort from the fact that the man responsible for such brutality has been caught.

“This is the close of a horrible chapter in my life, but the opening where I can leave this nightmare behind me,” he said.

He locked eyes on Lewis again as he slowly walked back to his seat in the well of the court.

Mr Aylett told the court: ‘‘It is a statement of the obvious, but whoever was responsible for the murder of Cathy Burke could only have been brutal and perverted.

“More particularly, the prosecution suggests his motive could only have been sexual because he would not, would he, have had to strip Ms Burke naked simply to steal her mobiles.

“On the other hand, this sexually inspired murder took place without any apparent form of sexual assault. The prosecution submit that these circumstances suggest that there must have been a very real risk of the killer striking again, and so it turned out.”

Lewis was sentenced by Judge Richard Marks at the Central Criminal Court – the Old Bailey – on Thursday to life imprisonment, with a minimum of 40 years, to run concurrently to his existing sentence.

CITY TRIBUNE

Drugs raid on house in Ballybane

Enda Cunningham

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The seizure from the house in Ballybane

Gardaí in Galway have arrested a man and seized more than €31,000 in cash, and suspected cocaine from a house in Ballybane.
At 10pm yesterday, the Divisional Drugs Unit searched a house under warrant, where they seized €12,250 worth of cocaine (pending analysis).
Approximately €19,000 worth of cash in euro and Sterling currency and two designer watches worth €7,000 were also seized by Gardaí.
One man, aged in his early 30s, was arrested at the scene. He has since been released without charge and a file is being prepared for the Director of Public Prosecutions in this matter.

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CITY TRIBUNE

Galway ICU has 100% Covid-19 survival rate

Dara Bradley

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From this week’s Galway City Tribune – All Covid-19 patients who were critically ill in the Intensive Care Unit at University Hospital Galway have survived the virus, the Galway City Tribune has learned.

While there have been some Covid-19 deaths in the city hospital since the pandemic reached Ireland, the survival rate of those treated in the critical care unit or ICU at UHG has been 100%.

The hospital has not yet provided an exact figure for ICU recoveries, but ‘rolling figures’ from the Health Protection Surveillance Centre – which do not account for overlaps of new ICU patients and those who are moved out following recovery – show that on one occasion at the peak of the crisis here, there were up to 20 people being treated for Covid-19 in the unit. This week, there was one Covid patient in ICU.

The ICU has not been as busy as Dublin’s acute hospitals, as Covid-19 has been more prevalent on the east coast. But the success in treating patients in Galway’s ICU has also been attributed to splitting it into two separate ICUs, one for Covid and one for non-Covid patients, which was facilitated by the deal negotiated with private hospitals.

Dr Pat Nash, Chief Clinical Director of Saolta Hospitals Group, which runs UHG, said: “Thankfully we haven’t had any ICU deaths related to Covid, to date. There have been deaths related to Covid but not in ICU. That is good by national standards.”
This is a shortened preview version of this article. Please remember that without advertising revenue and people buying and subscribing to our newspapers, this website would not exist. You can read the full article by buying a digital edition of this week’s Galway City Tribune HERE.

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CITY TRIBUNE

Galway Market to reopen – and go back to its roots

Denise McNamara

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All quiet: the last Galway Market held two months ago.

From this wek’s Galway City Tribune – Up to 30 food growers and producers will return this Saturday to sell their wares at a smaller version of the Galway Market, following the easing of Covid-19 restrictions.

A reduced number of stalls will be laid out to allow the two-metre distance between traders and each stall holder will be expected to maintain a ‘socially distant’ queue among their customers. Council officials will be on site to ensure things runs smoothly.

There will be no hot food vendors or craftspeople operating in this phase of the market’s return outside St Nicholas’ Collegiate Church.

Carmel Kilcoyne, Senior Engineer in the Council’s Environment Department, explained that stalls along Churchyard Street will not be erected at this time due to its size.

“It is a different layout and we are adhering to a strict interpretation of what a farmers’ market is – food producers, deli items such as chutneys, cheese, eggs and fish mongers. We will have one coffee van,” she said.
This is a shortened preview version of this article. Please remember that without advertising revenue and people buying and subscribing to our newspapers, this website would not exist. You can read the full article by buying a digital edition of this week’s Galway City Tribune HERE.

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