Merseyside man jailed after stabbing mum in the heart

Jamie Dempsey stabbed his mum as she tried to stop him fighting near the Brambles pub in Kirkby in summer 2022.  Credit: Liverpool Echo

A Merseyside man who stabbed his mum in the heart has been jailed for 19 years.

Jamie Dempsey stabbed his mum as she tried to stop him fighting near the Brambles pub in Kirkby in summer 2022. 

The 32-year-old later asked a cousin to burn the clothes he was wearing and bought beers from an off-licence before handing himself into police.

After a trial at Liverpool Crown Court, a jury cleared Dempsey, of Brechin Road, Kirkby, of murder but found him guilty of manslaughter, wounding with intent, and possession of a bladed article and he appeared on Wednesday to be sentenced.

During the trial, Peter Glenser KC outlined that the mother and son had arranged to meet in the pub on the evening of August 22 last year. 

Dempsey ran into Brian Flynn, whom he owed £2,000 and a fight ensued after Mr Flynn threw a glass at Dempsey.

The two men left through different doors, but began to fight outside, before Dempsey stabbed Mr Flynn five times causing serious injuries. 

As Karen Dempsey tried to intervene, a sixth blow struck her in the chest, leaving her with blood pouring down her chest, the knife having pierced her heart and liver.

Dempsey ran from the scene after hugging his mother, who was rushed to Aintree Hospital but pronounced dead at 9.45pm. 

He later handed himself in to Merseyside police, not knowing that his mother was dead.

Karen Dempsey was described as the "life and soul of the party." Credit: Liverpool Echo

The sister of the victim, Lynn Dempsey, attended and read her victim personal statement to the court. 

She also detailed her sister’s “zest for life”, and the “immense pain” at losing her.

She said: “To have had her in our lives was an absolute privilege, she was always the life and soul of the party. 

“Her zest for life and her energy would leave you breathless, it makes the loss of her life so hard to accept and there is a deep sorrow that will never ease.

“We miss her so much and the world is a darker place without her.”

Mr Glenser detailed that Dempsey struck five blows at Mr Flynn, before the sixth blow him Karen Dempsey and caused her death.

He said: “Karen Dempsey was never the intended victim, and it was her coming to separate the two principal protagonists that led to her death. 

“She was an innocent bystander, had any other innocent bystander intervened they could have been victims.”

He submitted that Dempsey had engaged in a consensual fight with Mr Flynn, and he brought the knife to the scene. 

Jamie Dempsey stabbed his mum as she tried to stop him fighting near the Brambles pub in Kirkby in summer 2022.  Credit: Liverpool Echo

Mr Glenser added: “A taxi was called by Karen Dempsey as soon as he arrived, but they stayed and had a second pint, rather than leaving or going elsewhere or waiting elsewhere.”

Dempsey has a previous conviction for possession of a knife when he was 17, assault in 2011, and two public order offences in 2015 and 2021. 

Mr Cray, defending, said: “I would like to preface submissions by the defendant’s wish to express through me his remorse to his family and he is aware not only that he has caused the death of his mother, but he has also caused almost unquantifiable grief to those that loved her, as has been movingly expressed this morning.

“It is important that it is said and heard before anything else.” He continued.

“Flynn is a drug debt enforcer who has previously threatened the defendant with his life, and in public has carried out a glassing of him, which is the immediate precursor to the incident a few minutes later.

“The final thing to consider is the unusual circumstances in the case of manslaughter of genuine remorse," added Mr Cray.

Mr Cray argued this should warrant a reduction in the starting point of the sentence, and pointed out that Dempsey has limited previous convictions of a similar nature, therefore this offence could be said to be out of character.

In sentencing, Judge Denis Watson KC said: “You are 32-years-old, to be sentenced for unlawful wounding, manslaughter of your mother, and possession of a bladed article.

“The simple fact is that your decision to bring a knife and use it caused her death.”

Dempsey was sentenced to 19 years imprisonment for manslaughter, and told he will likely serve two thirds of that sentence.

He was also handed a four-year sentence for unlawful wounding, and three years for possession of a bladed article, which will be served concurrently.

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