The family of Inishowen journalist Eugene Moloney’s have described his killer as a “guttersnipe” who pleaded for their forgiveness as part of a legal ploy.
In a private letter to the family, Gary Burch said he was sincerely sorry for the hurt and sadness he had caused them as well as his own family.
The trainee mechanic, now facing less then three years in jail, says in the handwritten note that he will always regret the outcome of that one punch that killed the journalist, and that he did not set out to kill.
Burch also says that he read all about how well thought of and respected Mr Moloney was in the newspapers.
“I have read what was written about me in the papers and although I understand their anger that is not the person I am,” he adds.
“I will have to live with this for the rest of my life.”
Mr Moloney’s brother Sean dismissed the note as a “joke” used as part of a defence strategy.
“Our name Moloney was spelt wrong, he didn’t put his home address on it and the signature was different to the handwriting in the letter,” he said.
“It was a joke. It was part of a fancy legal ploy’.”
Mr Moloney said the killer smirked on occasions also.
See page 9 for full report of Monday’s sentencing.