Four family members died; Man sentenced to prison
By The Headlines, June 6, 2023 | 06:13 PM
For murdering four members of the same family in a home fire in Co. Fermanagh in 2018, a man was given a life sentence.
Just before the start of his trial today at Craigavon Crown Court, Daniel Sebastian Allen, 32, of Doon Road, Derrylin, amended his plea.
On February 27, 2018, a fire destroyed the Derrylin house of Denise Gossett, 45, her son Roman, 16, her daughter Sabrina, 19, and Sabrina's 15-month-old baby Morgana.
Allen admitted to killing Sabrina Gossett's young daughter Morgana Quinn as well as Roman and Sabrina Gossett.
He acknowledged manslaughter "by reason of suicide pact" in connection with the passing of Denise Gossett.
Allen, who admitted to setting fires as well, received a life sentence.
Allen read his stipulations from a piece of paper that an official was holding as he entered the pier wearing a checkered shirt and escorted by cops.
The public prosecution office had accepted the plea, the court was informed.
When Mr Justice O'Hara handed down a life sentence for the murder of three members of the Gossett family, he remained silent.
The judge thanked the jury members for their time and said that he wanted them to be there for Allen's plea so they could understand why the case would not be moving forward. The jury members had been sworn in yesterday.
The minimum sentence Allen must complete before being eligible for parole will be determined during a hearing in September.
Attorney for the defence Frank O'Donoghue said that his client was aware of the allegations against him, and the attorney for the prosecution David McDowell expressed satisfaction with the modified terms of arraignment.
Prior to this, Allen was prepared to deny the allegations of murder on the grounds that he had made a suicide pact with Denise and Sabrina Gossett and was thus not responsible for the deaths of the two younger victims.
Allen earlier entered pleas of guilty to two counts of manslaughter, not guilty to a charge of murder, and not guilty to a charge of setting a fire with the purpose to harm life.
Allen has been detained since the year 2018.
The defence team came to the conclusion that Allen's mental health exam did not give proof of reduced culpability during a court hearing in early 2022.