Man on trial for murder was stabbed in the back, court is told
Published 21/04/2010 | 05:00
A MAN accused of the murder of two Polish men had been stabbed in the back in another incident two nights previously, a court was told yesterday.
The jury heard that the two men accused of the murder spent some hours drinking, smoking cannabis and taking pills, and swimming at the locks of the Grand Canal near Drimnagh in Dublin.
Pawel Kalite (29) and Marius Szwajkos (27) died on February 23 2008, on Benbulben Road in Drimnagh, half an hour after Mr Kalite got into a fight outside the local chipper, Dublin Circuit Criminal Court was told.
David Curran (19), of Lissadel Green, Drimnagh, denies murder but admits manslaughter due to provocation. His 21-year-old co-accused, Sean Keogh, of Vincent Street West, Inchicore, Dublin, also denies murder.
A teenage girl, who cannot be identified because of her age and who gave evidence via a video link into the courtroom, said she was with the group that included Mr Curran and Mr Keogh on the night both Polish men died.
Mr Curran's counsel, Giollaoisa O Lideadha, suggested to the girl that his client had been stabbed in the back in another incident two nights previously and that this injury would have been visible on his back as he went swimming. However, the girl said she did not remember this.
The girl told the court that she couldn't remember drinking out of a vodka bottle at the canal but accepted it could have been true. She also agreed it was "likely" that Mr Curran and the teenage boy involved in the original row outside the chipper with Mr Kalite had been smoking cannabis joints and taking pills known as 'Roche yellow and blues'.
There was nothing unusual about this, she agreed. She said that continued on for a few hours and then they left the canal for an open grass area up the road.
Later, Mr Keogh and Mr Curran arrived with bags of 'alcopops' which were then consumed but again the girl could not remember this.
After a while, the group split when she and two other friends left to go to the chipper.
Earlier, the girl told the court how her friend, a teenage boy, became involved in an altercation with a Polish man outside the chipper. The man had chased her friend around the car she said, adding that a fight had broken out.
"The man grabbed me by the hair and I kind of fell on top of him," she said. A passing car stopped and a man got out, saying: "What's going on, he's only a kid, leave it out."
The fight was over in about five or 10 minutes and then the girl said she saw "Schillaci" (the nickname Mr Curran was known by) running while screaming: "He stabbed me da." The girl said she had disputed this but said Mr Curran "didn't really listen to me, he just kept running".
She explained: "He ran up and one of the Polish men was outside in the garden. He ran up and it was like as if he was hitting him."
She said he had hit the first man once and the other man who went from his door to the garden twice.
The first man, she said, "just fell to the floor". And she described how the second man "just stood there" after being hit, before being struck a second time.
However, the girl later admitted to the court that she may have got the sequence of events wrong and that it may have been the first man who was hit twice and the second man just once.
The trial continues.