Three men plead guilty to manslaughter of Carlow-born teenager in Australia

Cian English (19), originally from Carlow town but living in Brisbane, was stabbed during robbery at apartment before falling to death from balcony while trying to flee

Three men have pleaded guilty to the manslaughter of an Irish teenager who died in Australia after he fell from an apartment balcony during an armed robbery.

Cian English (19) originally from Carlow town, but who lived in the Brisbane suburb of Hawthorne, suffered traumatic injuries when he fell from a fourth floor balcony at the View Pacific resort in Surfer’s Paradise in the early hours of Saturday, May 23rd, 2020.

Lachlan Paul Soper-Lagas (21), Hayden Paul Kratzmann (23) and Jason Ryan Knowles (25) were committed by the Southport Magistrates Court in May of last year to stand trial in the Queensland Supreme Court in Brisbane.

The three men were aged between 18 and 22 at the time of Mr English’s death.


All three were charged with murder but agreed to a plea deal of manslaughter at Queensland Supreme Court.

The court was told that Kratzmann, from Caboolture, had previously been convicted for breaking into pharmacies and stealing large amounts of medication, and Knowles, who was born in Sydney, had a history of armed robbery. Soper-Laga, did not have a criminal history in Queensland.

The court heard that Mr English had been partying with a friend, before they invited the group from the apartment directly above them to join them.

He subsequently fell to his death while being robbed at knifepoint by the three men following the apartment party. At the time the three men were high on prescription drugs. Mr English was assaulted and stabbed before attempting to escape but fell to his death.

The men will be sentenced on Friday.

Mr English’s mother Siobhán and brother Dylan were in court, alongside other relatives and friends who travelled from Ireland. The teenager’s father, Vincent, was present on video link during the court hearing.

Two girls, who cannot be named for legal reasons, are separately accused of murder. The girls allegedly filmed the beating, stabbing and fatal fall of Mr English. They subsequently posted a video of the events on social media. Their cases are due before the Supreme Court on October 25th.