News Courts

Sunday 11 December 2016

'Extraordinarily improbable' for woman to be 'filled with such a dark thought to cause harm' to deceased, court hears

Alison O'Riordan

Published 10/11/2015 | 16:56

Sabrina Cummins
Sabrina Cummins
Kenneth Cummins

The defence counsel in the trial of a brother and sister accused of murdering a 63-year-old man last year has told the jury in his closing speech that it would be "extraordinarily improbable" for his client to be "filled with such a dark thought to cause harm" to the deceased, "someone she really cared about."

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Kenneth Cummins (28) and Sabrina Cummins (37), with an address at Ringsend Park, Dublin 4, have both pleaded not guilty to murdering Thomas Horan (63) at Cambridge Court, Ringsend on January 6th last year.

Defence counsel Mr Blaise O'Carroll SC began his closing speech today by telling the jury of six men and six women that this was a joint trial and asked them to look and assess the trial separately.

Counsel told the jury that Mr Horan's brother in law previously gave evidence calling the deceased "mentally challenged" and a "gullible human being."

The court heard Mr Horan seemed to have been "kindness personified" in terms of things he did for his ex wife as well as having Sabrina Cummins stay in his apartment as his guest when it "overspilled" in her sister's apartment.

Mr O'Carroll told the jury they had previously heard Sabrina take the stand to give evidence where she looked them "straight in the face" to give her account of what happened on the night in question as well as to give an account of all the "tragedies" that have occurred to date in her life.

"She tells you she came into existence with an older sister and seven children came after her. Her father was an alcoholic who was constantly rifling the piggy bank of the children to pay for drink.

Ask yourself how would you relate to this world around you?" said Mr O'Carroll.

Counsel said that all the relationships which Sabrina became embroiled in, only lasted a certain time before they disintegrated. He said her eldest sister died of a heart attack as well as her brother getting attacked resulting in severe brain damage.

"All her way through life it was full of tragic events and the worst occurred in May 2010 when her sister Breda was upstairs in bed and her ex partner arrived at the property and took her life and went so far as to cut the heart of her sister in two. You have to imagine what effect that would have on the psychological make up of Sabrina," said counsel.

Counsel then went on to say that just two weeks after her sister's funeral, Sabrina found herself surrounded by members of An Garda Siochana based on false communication given to gardai by her brother Kenneth.

"When you look at all of that and where Sabrina comes from and her past, the last thing you would expect from her would be for her to ever form an intent of hurting Tom Horan," said counsel.

"I want to set the scene to show how extraordinarily improbable it was for Sabrina to be filled with such a dark thought to cause harm to someone she really cared about ," said Mr O'Carroll, adding that their friendship went back to around 1992.

The court heard Ms Cummins did not run away from the property in Ringsend that night instead she picked up a phone and rang gardai.

"If she had run away no one would have been held responsible for the death of Tom Horan," he said.

The trial continues.

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