Manual strangulation caused Desmond Sullivan’s death at home he shared with Desmond Duffy – inquest

A jury has returned a verdict at an inquest into the death of a 59-year-old man whose partner was acquitted of his killing.

Desmond Sullivan (aged 59) shared a home with Desmond Duffy at Somerville Park in Rathmines, Dublin 6. The pair went to the pub together at 4pm on May 23, 2016, an inquest into Mr Sullivan’s death heard. They returned home again at 9pm.

Detective Inspector George McGeary told the inquest that an altercation took place after they returned home.

“An altercation took place. As a result, the deceased collapsed in the kitchen. An hour later emergency services were called,” DI McGeary said.

Mr Sullivan was pronounced dead at his home address at 23.27pm.

Pathologist Dr Marie Cassidy performed a post-mortem examination.

“The cause of death was manual strangulation. An investigation commenced and a man was arrested and questioned in relation to the death,” DI McGeary said.

A criminal trial took place last year and this concluded in November 2018 when a jury found the person charged not guilty.

The cause of death at autopsy was compression of the neck with heart disease and acute alcohol and diazepam intoxication as contributory factors.

The coroner explained to two family members present why the inquest was taking place.

“If following a criminal trial there has been no finding by the criminal trial judge then there is an obligation on the coroner to hold an inquest,” Coroner Dr Myra Cullinane said.

The jury returned a narrative verdict setting out the facts of the case.

The coroner offered condolences to the family.

“My condolences to the family, you’ve been through a number of processes and it’s been very difficult for you. I hope the conclusion of this inquest assists you as you come to terms with your loss,” Dr Cullinane said.

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