Man who stabbed Irish roommate Thomas Murphy over a broken plate escapes prison

Limerick man Thomas Murphy (42) was found dead in the home he shared with Stephen Owusu in Manchester on September 24, 2022.

Limerick man Thomas Murphy (42) was found dead in the terraced house he shared with Stephen Owusu on Beverly Road, Fallowfield, Manchester on September 24, 2022.

Owusu (23) was “convinced” that Murphy, who had been living at the property for two months, had broken his plate before leaving a piece of it under a sofa to taunt him.

He confronted Murphy, then went into the kitchen, took a kitchen knife and stabbed him 34 times. After the attack, he washed the blood from his hands and knife before locking himself in his room.

Owusu, who has since been diagnosed with paranoid schizophrenia, admitted manslaughter saying he was not liable.

Thomas Murphy. Photo: Greater Manchester Police

At a sentencing hearing at Manchester Crown Court yesterday, October 24, he was handed a Section 37 hospital order with Section 41 restrictions, meaning he will remain in hospital for mental health treatment instead of going to prison.

He remains in hospital indefinitely and cannot be released unless the Secretary of State or a court deems it acceptable.

The sentence was criticized by Mr Murphy’s brother Darragh Murphy as being too lenient.

“It’s not a sentence, he could be out in 10, eight or seven years. It was about the risk to the public in the future and not the crime he committed,” he said.

“I am completely confused by the system.”

The father-of-two, originally from Ballyagran, County Limerick, moved to Manchester during the pandemic to be closer to his girls after his marriage collapsed.

His teenage daughters each read victim impact statements to the court this week.

Mr Murphy’s eldest daughter, aged 16, said: ‘It didn’t make any sense, our father wasn’t a violent or evil person. My father was a great person, the life and soul of a party, no one ever had a bad word with him.”

His other daughter, 14, said: “My sister and I each threw a flower into his grave so he would have a piece of us with him. It was incredibly difficult for us to come to terms with our loss and to wonder how we would move on with the loss of our father.”

After the hearing, the detective in charge of the case praised Mr Murphy’s family for their strength throughout the proceedings.

Senior investigating officer Phil Reade, from Greater Manchester Police’s major incident team, said: “Thomas Murphy was a completely innocent victim and the thoughts of the entire investigation team are with his family, particularly his two daughters and his parents.”

“We understand that today’s outcome can in no way bring Thomas back and the impact of his death will remain with his loved ones forever.”


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