Mother of victim appeals order to allow murderer serve sentence in UK
Tracey Tully, mother of murdered boxer Kevin Sheehy, ‘retraumatised’ by transfer decision
Wed Jun 8 2022 – 19:00
Last-ditch efforts are being made by legal representatives of Tracey Tully, the mother of murdered champion Limerick boxer Kevin Sheehy (20), to try to prevent her son’s killer from being transferred to England to allow him serve the remainder of his life sentence closer to his family.
Logan Jackson (31), of Longford Road, Coventry, who was jailed for life for the killing in Limerick, on December 21st, 2021, was still behind bars at Limerick Prison on Wednesday, despite media reports he was due to be transported to the UK the previous day.
Last March, Minister for Justice Helen McEntee, on foot of a recommendation from the Irish Prison Service, approved Jackson’s request for transfer to a UK prison. However, Ms Tully said she only learned of the prisoner’s transfer request and subsequent decision last month.
Sinéad Nolan, of Mark Murphy & Company Solicitors, William Street, Limerick city, instructed by Ms Tully, said she had instructed legal counsel Arthur Griffin to make an “emergency application” before the High Court on Wednesday to seek “leave to bring an application for a judicial review” to try to reverse the prison transfer decision, and further seek to have Jackson continue to serve the remainder of his sentence, or at least a large part of it, in Limerick.
The application was raised in the High Court and was listed for a full hearing at 2pm on Thursday, Ms Nolan said.
“Normally a victim or their family would have no say in the process, but under the Parole Act, victims’ families can make submissions to the process and the convicted person may apply to the parole board in 12 years,” said Ms Nolan.
However, the Limerick solicitor said Ms Tully’s case was that “in determining to repatriate the convicted party to the UK, the Minister has denied the family the right to make a contribution to the process”.
A spokesman at the Irish Prison Service said it “does not comment on individual prisoner cases” while a Department of Justice spokeswoman said it was looking into the matter.
Jackson, who pleaded not guilty to murder and guilty to manslaughter, has served five months of his life sentence, as well as 2½ years in custody on remand while he awaited his trial.
The 31 year old, described at his sentencing hearing as a career criminal, had driven a UK-registered Mitsubishi Shogun jeep at pedestrians on Hyde Road, Limerick, on July 1st, 2019, deliberately knocking Mr Sheehy down three times at speed.
The jury rejected Jackson’s defence of provocation and agreed with the prosecution’s case that he had deployed his jeep as a murder weapon “as sure and as clear” as if it were a gun or a knife.
Ms Tully told the Sunday Independent she felt “retraumatised” by Ms McEntee’s decision to approve the prison transfer without canvassing the family beforehand. Ms Tully said she had subsequently received a letter from Ms McEntee in which the Minister said she could not discuss the matter.
“This doesn’t feel like justice. There was no compassion. I am just shocked, I am shocked we weren’t considered at all,” said Ms Tully.
More than 4,200 people have signed a petition calling for a reversal of the transfer approval.
Limerick Fianna Fáil TD Willie O’Dea, who is supporting Ms Tully’s efforts to reverse the Minister’s decision, said he received an email from the Department of Justice last week which stated that the Sheehy family had not registered with the Victim Liaison Service. This is something that allows victims of crime to be contacted by the Prison Service when there are developments in the management of a perpetrator’s sentence.
Mr O’Dea criticised the reasoning, saying, “It doesn’t take much to send a text or make a phone call.”