An internet café manager has been jailed for six years for kicking a customer to death on a Dublin street after a row over 70 cent.
Zhen Dong Zhao (40) had pleaded not guilty to murder but guilty to the manslaughter of Noel Fegan, a father of two. He kicked him to death outside the e-Times internet café and call shop on Lower Wellington Quay in Dublin city centre on May 20th, 2011.
Zhao of Jervis Street, Dublin, was originally convicted of the 39-year old’s murder and sentenced to life imprisonment in December 2012.
That conviction was overturned by the Court of Appeal earlier this year and a retrial ordered. However, the Chinese man’s plea was accepted by the State at the Central Criminal Court last month.
The court heard that Mr Fegan, a recovering heroin addict, had gone into Zhao’s shop that afternoon after receiving a “call me” text message from his 12-year-old daughter.
A row broke out between the two men over the payment of 70 cent for that call. There was a conflict between eyewitnesses about who threw the first slap.
The row erupted on to the street and part of it was caught on CCTV. The physical altercation lasted less than 10 seconds, but Zhao kicked him to the head on a number of occasions during that time.
The court heard Mr Fegan had been on the ground and “crawling away on all fours” when the final blow was delivered after a pause. One witness said the accused gave his dying victim a “two-finger salute” as he walked away.