Knocknaheeny mother wants justice for murdered son
A Cork mother, whose son was shot dead in front of his fiancée in 2002, has once again called for justice.
Monica Butler from Knocknaheeny told the Cork Independent that she "felt like the criminal" this week during an appeal hearing against a man sentenced for perjury in her son’s murder case.
On Tuesday, 26 July Thomas Morey (30) Gerald Griffin Street, Blackpool was given a three-year sentence for perjury at the Court of Criminal Appeal, with the last two years suspended.
Through the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP), Monica had appealed the original two-year term, which had one year suspended, and the appeal was granted, with the Court stating that the sentence had been too lenient.
John Butler (20) was shot on 7 October 2002 after a night out with his fiancée and mother of his three year old son. Nobody has ever been convicted for his death.
Cecil Lynch and Jerry Ross, were arrested in Boston on 1 February 2005 and both were charged with the murder the following April.
However, on 9 February 2006, the case collapsed as the key witness, Morey, claimed to have had memory loss over an 18-month period. The judge directed the jury to enter a not-guilty verdict due to a lack of evidence.
Morey was scheduled to give prosecution evidence at the Central Criminal Court trial in Dublin in February 2006 regarding the two men charged with the murder of John Butler.
A year later, on 2 February 2007, John’s inquest jury returned a narrative verdict, and not one of ‘unlawful killing’.
In May 2010, Morey was handed down a sentence of two years for perjury, with one suspended.
While his sentence was increased this week, Monica Butler said it is not enough.
“When his defence (Frank Buttimer, Cork) read out a statement about how he (Morey) was trying to rebuild his life, it was like I was being made into the criminal,” said Monica, who sent an appeal to the DPP following Morey’s 2010 sentence.
“He made out that he was being attacked by the system. I’m so disappointed and angry. Life has been awful for me. I have never had the chance to tell anyone my story in court… to tell anyone about the devastation that John’s murderers have caused me and my family.”
In June 2008, Monica’s husband took his own life.
She said she and her husband Johnny had no justice and that he could not cope with the pain. “We still don’t have justice.”
Monica will now be writing to Justice Minister Alan Shatter about her son’s collapsed case.
“No matter how much they wash his blood from their hands, my son’s murderers have stains on their souls,” she told the Cork Independent.
“They are walking around free and my son is dead. Where do I go from here?”