Two jailed over fatal stabbing of German student

Tuesday 24 June 2014 23.46
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Thomas Heinrich, who was 22, died in the knife attack
Thomas Heinrich, who was 22, died in the knife attack
Wesley Kelly pleaded guilty to the manslaughter of Mr Heinrich
Wesley Kelly pleaded guilty to the manslaughter of Mr Heinrich
Thomas Heinrich's parents said they were overwhelmed with feelings of sadness and anger over the death
Thomas Heinrich's parents said they were overwhelmed with feelings of sadness and anger over the death
Thomas Heinrich and fellow German student Robert Rinker were stabbed on St Anthony's Road in Rialto
Thomas Heinrich and fellow German student Robert Rinker were stabbed on St Anthony's Road in Rialto

A young man and a teenage boy have been jailed for their roles in a knife attack on two German students in Dublin a year-and-a-half ago during which one of the students died.

Wesley Kelly, 20, of St Anthony's Road in Rialto pleaded guilty to the manslaughter of German student Thomas Heinrich, while the 17-year-old was convicted of murder.

Mr Heinrich and fellow German student Robert Rinker were stabbed on St Anthony's Road on 1 December 2012.

Mr Rinker survived but Mr Heinrich, who was 22, died.

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

Kelly was convicted of assault causing harm to Mr Rinker but the jury was unable to reach a verdict on the murder charge.

Mr Justice Barry White sentenced the 17-year-old to nine years detention for the murder with the final two years suspended.

He sentenced Kelly to eight years in prison for manslaughter with the final year-and-a-half suspended.

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 him back".

They have sold their family home because it is too painful to live there.

His 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.