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How I killed my teen lover with a stone in convent; COURT TOLD GIRL WAS BATTERED AFTER ROW.


A MAN accused of murdering his 15-year-old girlfriend in the grounds of a convent went on trial yesterday.

Keith Kelly, 23, is charged with killing Melanie Gleeson on Hallowe'en night six years ago.

He has pleaded guilty to manslaughter.

The schoolgirl died in the Peace Gardens of the Dominican Convent, Ballyfermot, Dublin, after sustaining serious head injuries.

She suffered brain lacerations and multiple skull fractures. Her brain stem was also destroyed during the attack, leaving her brain dead.

Prosecutor Denis Vaughan-Buckley told the jury at the Central Criminal Court that Kelly admitted killing Melanie following a row over another man.

Kelly had told Gardai he and Melanie had just had sex in the grounds of the Convent shortly before a row developed.

He claimed Melanie, from Ballyfermot, told him she had had sex with another man but that rumours about her being pregnant by him were untrue.

The court heard that Kelly and Melanie then started calling one another names.

Kelly said: "She hit me a clatter across the face.

"She was sitting on the grass. There was a stone just beside her and I reached for it.

"I hit her with the stone across the head, but I'm not sure where.

"I could see blood coming out of her head and then I got the scare.

"Before hitting her with a stone I had my hand around her neck for a minute."

Kelly said Melanie was "still alive" when he walked away from the scene.

He told Gardai that he drank a can of cider before throwing the stone in a nearby river.

When Melanie's body was found, she had been partially covered with a coat but was naked and had suffered multiple head injuries.

Kelly admits he "killed the deceased by striking her on the head with a stone causing severe head injuries".

The jury heard he also admitted that the killing was unlawful.

Kelly, from Ballyfermot, was "tearful and upset" when found by Garda officers beside his dead girlfriend the following morning.

Mr Vaughan-Buckley said: "He was crying and appeared to be in a state of shock."

Prosecution witness Keith Ellis told the court that on Hallowe'en night, while drinking near the Convent with friends, he heard a loud scream.

He said: "We heard a girl screaming loud. It was like the scream didn't get to reach its pitch when it was cut off. "It was one scream. It came from the grounds behind the Dominican Convent."

The trial before Mr Justice Patrick Smith and a jury of eight men and four women continues today.


KILLER: Keith Kelly admits manslaughter; VICTIM: Student Melanie Gleeson, 15; GRIM FIND: Death scene
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Publication:The Mirror (London, England)
Date:Mar 27, 2001
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