Man guilty of manslaughter for stabbing shop raider
A MAN who repeatedly stabbed a supermarket raider after chasing him on foot was last night found guilty of manslaughter.
David Wilson (22) had pleaded not guilty to the manslaughter of Paul Howe (22) in a supermarket car park on October 8, 2008.
After more than 15 hours of deliberations over three days, the jury brought in a majority verdict of 10-2 at the Central Criminal Court.
Members of the deceased's family wept openly and jurors were visibly distraught as the verdict was read out.
During the eight-day trial, the jury saw CCTV footage from Supervalu on the Howth Road in Dublin from the night of the killing. It showed Howe and another man threatening female cashiers with knives, before fleeing the store.
Wilson and a group of men were seen standing outside the shop, looking in as the robbery unfolded. He was recorded throwing a can at Howe as the raider ran out of the shop.
He then pursued Howe, followed by the security guard and others.
Deepak Daulat, the security guard at Supervalu, gave evidence that he chased the deceased, armed with a walking stick. He told the court he caught up with Howe first, with Wilson following behind, and pulled him from a wall.
Mr Daulat said he wrestled Howe to the ground and hit him twice with the stick, which caused Howe to drop the knife he had been carrying.
The court heard the next time Mr Daulat saw the knife was when Wilson had it in his hand and was stabbing the robber.
Witnesses told the court they saw Howe on the ground, being kicked by the accused and three other men.
Colm Coughlan, a member of staff at Supervalu, said he saw Wilson stab the deceased three times, before he stopped, walked off and then ran back to stab him a final time.
A number of witnesses who had gathered at the scene gave evidence they saw Wilson with a knife in his hand, trying to get someone to take it off him, before he threw it in the bin.
In garda interviews, Wilson, of Marigold Avenue, Darndale, Dublin, said he never meant to kill anyone and only stabbed Howe to "calm him down".
The state pathologist, Dr Marie Cassidy, told the court Howe suffered seven stab wounds. Three penetrated deeply, stabbing both lungs and slicing a major blood vessel, causing him to bleed to death.
At the time of his death, Howe, of Glenshane Crescent, Tallaght, had €850 in his pocket, which he had robbed from the store.
Senior counsel for the prosecution, Paul Burns SC, had stressed to the jury that whatever the deceased may have done earlier, at the time of his death he was an unarmed man.
However, defence counsel Brendan Grehan SC described Mr Wilson as "an innocent bystander'', who at most was guilty of an error of judgment.
Mr Justice Birmingham exempted the jurors from further jury service for life and remanded Mr Wilson to appear before him on November 22 for sentencing.