Gerald Barry has been sentenced to life in prison for the murder of Manuela Riedo in Galway city in October 2007.

The 29-year-old from Rahoon in Galway denied the murder of the Swiss student.

Ms Riedo, 17, was found dead in an area of wasteland close to the Lough Atalia area of Galway city on 8 October 2007.

The young student had arrived in Galway just three days before she was murdered.

During his trial Gerald Barry gave evidence to the court that he had met the teenager on the evening of 8 October 2007.

Barry told the trial at the Central Criminal Court that Ms Riedo's death was an accident and that he did not mean to cause her any harm.

He admitted stealing Ms Riedo's phone and camera.

The court heard she died from asphxia and she had a number of injuries to her head.

The court was told that Barry had a considerable number of previous convictions, including a five-year prision sentence for violent disorder in connection with the murder of Tipperary man Colm Phelan in Eyre Square in Galway in July 1996.

Barry was also sentenced to 10 years in prison for the theft of Ms Riedo's phone and camera.

The jury of six men and six women returned a guilty verdict earlier today after deliberating for two and half hours.

Ms Riedo's family have welcomed the verdict and said they hoped Barry would spend the rest of his life in prison.