Tuesday 27 September 2016

Jury will hear evidence that man (44) attacked Joseph Dunne (20) with baseball bat after he hit his van, court told

Alison O’Riordan

Published 24/02/2016 | 13:29

The Criminal Courts of Justice in Dublin
The Criminal Courts of Justice in Dublin

A jury will hear evidence that a Hungarian man attacked a young Kildare man with a baseball bat after he hit his van, prosecuting lawyers have said.

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Zoltan Almasi (44) with an address at Harbour View, Naas, Co Kildare is charged with murdering Joseph Dunne at the same address on May 16 2014.

On Monday at the Central Criminal Court Mr Almasi pleaded not guilty to murdering Mr Dunne.

Today prosecution counsel Mr Bernard Condon SC told the jury of six men and six women that this case involves “an allegation of murder” and they were here to “try the offence.”

“You will hear a young man died in this case at only 20 years of age and in deeply unpleasant circumstances,” said Mr Condon.

The court heard Mr Dunne lived in Athy at the time of his death with his father, mother and two older brothers.

Counsel told the court Mr Dunne met with two friends in Kildare during the day of May 16.

Mr Condon said they jury will hear that at 6pm the three friends decided to go into Naas.

“When in Naas they met up with some girls. There were other people in and out as they were having drinks near the harbour and a lot of young people were there also,” said Mr Condon.

Counsel said Mr Dunne and his friends later made their way to get the 10.30pm bus back to Kildare.

“As they were leaving there was a van parked outside a house and Joseph Dunne hit the van in some way. As a result of that a man from a house who owned the van came tearing out with a baseball bat and ran after the young people,” said the barrister.

“The prosecution say he hit Joseph Dunne on the head with a baseball bat essentially killing him and then retreated back into his house at Harbour View. This man the prosecution say is Zoltan Almasi,” said Mr Condon.

The court heard Mr Almasi was 42 years of age at the time of the alleged offence and lived alone at Harbour View in rented accommodation.

The accused was born in Serbia but became a Hungarian national around 2007. Counsel said that shortly after this Mr Almasi came to Ireland.

“He owned this Mercedes van and worked for a courier company. The van was parked outside his house. People at the scene including people from a restaurant who came to offer their assistance but it was hopeless,” said Mr Condon.

The court heard that “unfortunately there was no recovery” for Mr Dunne and he was pronounced dead at hospital.  An investigation was

then conducted by gardai.

Mr Condon said that Deputy State Pathologist Dr Michael Curtis conducted a post mortem on the deceased and the jury would hear his

conclusions.

“The cause of death of the deceased was blunt force trauma to the head. Gardai recovered the bat and Mr Almasi was arrested shortly

afterwards. The bat was seized from his home,” said counsel.

Mr Condon told the jury they would hear Mr Almasi was interviewed by gardai on a number of occasions.

“Mr Almasi initially took the position that he had not struck any blow but that the deceased had fallen. Later in other interviews he denied

swinging the bat at Mr Dunne. CCTV will be played for you, while it doesn’t show the actually moment of contact between the bat and the

deceased, it is of significance in the case,” said counsel.

“Mr Almasi also said in interviews that it was possible he didn’t hit the man but at the end he admitted it was possible but most likely an

accident,” said Mr Condon.

Counsel said the jury would hear during the trial what friends who spent the evening with the deceased had to say.

“They saw the blow to the head was delivered by Mr Almasi,” said the barrister.

 The trial continues.

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