Man jailed over death of 'harmless' London Irishman following devastating attack

Man jailed over death of 'harmless' London Irishman following devastating attack

A MAN who launched a ‘mindless and pointless attack’ on Desmond O’Beirne has been jailed for his part in the London Irishman’s death.

Mr O’Beirne, 51, fell into a coma from which he never regained consciousness and died six months later.

Today at the Old Bailey, Lucas Antunes, 22, was jailed for three years and nine months having previously admitted manslaughter.

Luis Abella, 22, of Marshall Court, SW4 had previously pleaded guilty to attempting to cause actual bodily harm and was sentenced to three months’ imprisonment, suspended for two years.

Pursued and attacked

Mr O’Beirne, who lived in Pimlico but was originally from Ireland, had been on a night out before falling asleep on a grass area outside the National Gallery in Trafalgar Square, WC2.

After waking up he then approached several people, including Antunes and Abella, who took exception and pursued and attacked him at around 12.25am on Saturday, June 3, 2017.

Desmond O'Beirne was described as 'a completely harmless individual' (Image: Metropolitan Police)

The London Ambulance Service attended and treatedMr O’Beirne at the scene before taking him to hospital, however he died from his injuries on Wednesday, December 20, 2017.

A post-mortem examination at Westminster Mortuary on January 3, 2018 determined the cause of death as a head injury.

'Completely harmless'

“Desmond was a completely harmless individual who had gone out that night for a beer and should have quietly gone back home again,” said Detective Chief Inspector Noel McHugh.

“However Abella and Antunes delivered a mindless and pointless attack on Desmond, punching him in the back of the head and kicking him while he was on the ground.

“He suffered injuries that would put him in a coma for six months. He never stood a chance.”


Abella was originally charged with manslaughter before admitting attempted ABH.

Antunes was extradited back to Britain in September 2018, having fled to the US after the incident.

“I am so proud of my detectives for their outstanding work and the US Marshalls who were truly exceptional in securing Antunes’ return from the US and helping ensure he faced justice,” said DCI McHugh.

“This case really does show what can be achieved when people come together to help solve crime.

“I would urge anyone who has information about a crime, who is hesitating to make that call, to see how coming forward can change a family’s life.”