The family of Sligo double murderer Yousef Palani cast him out after learning of his horrific actions

Man who survived brutal stabbing by double murderer says: ‘If he escaped I would be the first person he would try to kill’

Palani was sentenced to two life sentences for the murders of Aidan Moffitt in Carton Heights on April 10 last year and Michael Snee in City View, Connaughton Road, in the city two days later on April 12, 2022.

He was also sentenced to 20 years in prison after pleading guilty to intentionally causing grievous harm to Anthony Burke, who he stabbed in the eye after the pair met on April 9, 2022 following an online chat at Mr Burke’s home had.

Members of Palani’s family did not appear in court this week to support him and they are outraged by his actions.

A close member of his family burst into tears and disowned him when the Sunday world spoke to her in Sligo after Palani’s guilty plea.

“Yousef is very bad,” she added, saying she no longer sees him as a member of her family.

Aidan Moffitt (left) and Michael Snee.

She said she was too upset to speak further on the matter.

Palani’s horrific crimes last year shocked the nation.

Palani wanted Mr Burke to be his first victim and told gardaí he planned to behead him after he was tied up.

Mr. Burke felt uncomfortable with Palani, refused to have him handcuffed and escorted him out of his home

After accompanying Palani a short distance up the road, the evil killer followed him back to his house and stabbed him in the eye before saying, “Let’s go.”

Mr. Burke said this Sunday world that it was terrible to hear details at Palani’s sentencing hearing this week.

“He told the guards he was going to cut off my head. I didn’t know that… I didn’t find out until the day the verdict was announced.”

The court also heard horrific details about the deaths of Mr Snee and Mr Moffitt, whom Palani brutally murdered after being tied up.

“The whole two hours were absolute torture. It was shocking.”

Palani specifically targeted gay men who lived alone, and Mr Burke said he felt he committed the murders because he could not come to terms with his own homosexuality.

While he denied to gardaí that he was gay, Palani engaged in sexual activity with men, including Mr Burke.

“He had sex with gay men and then wanted to kill them because he couldn’t let anyone in his family know what had happened.

“Of course he would try to kill more if he got out. I would say I would be the first person he would come to.”

Anthony Burke

He said Palani had shown no remorse in court and offered no apology to Mr Burke.

“I’m almost positive he had a big smile on his face as he walked out the door,” he said.

He added that he was very unhappy that the state dropped the attempted murder charge against Palani for the attack on Mr. Burke after he agreed to plead guilty to a lesser charge of assault.

“It was attempted murder. The DPP initially countered with attempted murder. I would have wanted it recorded as attempted murder, regardless of what sentence he received.”

Mr Burke said he felt like a fairly isolated person in court this week and said no one had contacted him to wish him well on the morning of the sentencing hearing.

“I didn’t receive any calls or messages from anyone that morning wishing me well.”

Taoiseach Leo Varadkar praised Mr Burke in the Dáil after the sentencing hearing this week.

Palani leaves the court

“He was probably the only one who praised me through the whole thing.”

However, Mr Burke added that he had also received messages of support in Sligo and from across the country

“I had support all over the city and got messages from people all over the city. A woman called me crying after watching the interview.”

He said life has been difficult for him since the attack and he thinks about Mr. Snee and Mr. Moffitt every day.

He also believes Palani could have been stopped sooner if gardaí had recognized the significance of the initial attack on him.

“They just thought I was a drunk on the street [who was attacked[. They didn’t get the whole situation. If they moved quicker it [the killings] could have been prevented.”

The Sunday world Earlier this year it was revealed that Palani had shown Mr Burke profiles of a dozen gay men he had been in contact with. He later realized that Palani was showing him a “kill list.”

The following day, Palani murdered Mr. Moffitt in a brutal attack at his Carton Heights home while Mr. Burke was still in the hospital.

Mr Burke later returned home and gardaí called him after Mr Moffitt’s body was discovered the day after his murder.

The day after Mr Moffitt’s body was discovered, gardaí were called to a flat on Connaughton Road in Sligo town where they discovered the body of Mr Snee, who had also been brutally murdered by Palani.

Mr Burke identified Palani on CCTV and also traveled around Sligo with armed gardaí calling the homes of men who were on Palani’s list.

He was eventually tracked down to his Sligo home in Markievicz Heights. He confirmed to gardaí that he planned to continue killing gay men.

He later claimed that voices made him do this, but there was no evidence that he was suffering from a psychiatric illness.

Anthony Burke

Mr Burke said he would live with what happened for the rest of his life and was constantly on edge.

“I find it difficult to go to the pub. I go in and out,” he said, adding that places he once felt safe no longer do.

He is also constantly reminded of the attack.​

Mr Burke added that it has been difficult to meet people romantically since the incident.

“People are now afraid to be with me because they know I was involved in this incident.”

He added that he wanted people to know that he never asked for or was offered payment for interviews he agreed to.

“I don’t want anyone to think I make a living killing people,” Mr. Burke said.


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