Man pleads guilty to manslaughter of German student

Monday 23 June 2014 16.40
Thomas Heinrich died following an attack in Dublin in December 2012
Thomas Heinrich died following an attack in Dublin in December 2012

A 20-year-old man has pleaded guilty to the manslaughter of a German student in Dublin.

Thomas Heinrich and Robert Rinker were stabbed on St Anthony's Road in Rialto on 1 December 2012.

Mr Rinker survived but 22-year-old Mr Heinrich died.

A 17-year-old, who cannot be named for legal reasons, was convicted of Mr Heinrich's murder and assault causing harm to Mr Rinker last month.

Wesley Kelly, 20, of St Anthony's Road was convicted of assault causing harm to Mr Rinker but the jury was unable to reach a verdict on the murder charge.

Today the 20-year-old pleaded guilty to manslaughter and the Director of Public Prosecutions accepted the plea.

Mr Justice Barry White will sentence him tomorrow morning. 

In a victim impact statement read to the Central Criminal Court today, Mr Heinrich's parents said their lives have been shattered.

They said: "We have been overwhelmed with feelings of sadness and anger over the sudden death of our son.

"This brutal attack means we'll never celebrate his graduation, his wedding or hold his children in our arms".

In the statement, they said they were shocked to discover the ages of those involved and were appalled to hear of the prevalent use of knives in the area.

They said nothing that can be said or done can bring their son back. They have sold their family home because it is too painful to live there.

The family has set up a foundation called The Thomas Heinrich Scholarship, which works between Griffith College in Dublin and a college in Germany giving an annual bursary for a foreign exchange programme.