Saturday 23 September 2017

Mother-of-two died from 'single stab wound to chest' - murder trial of former partner hears

Anna Finnegan died at her home at Allendale Glen, Clonsilla on September 21, 2012
Anna Finnegan died at her home at Allendale Glen, Clonsilla on September 21, 2012

Alison O'Riordan

Mother-of-two Anna Finnegan died from a single stab wound to the chest, the murder trial of her former partner has heard.

The Deputy State Pathologist, Dr Michael Curtis, today gave evidence in the Central Criminal Court trial of Vesel Jahiri.

Mr Jahiri (35), originally from Kosovo but of no fixed abode, has pleaded not guilty to murdering Anna Finnegan (25) at Allendale Glen, Clonsilla, Dublin 15 on September 21, 2012.

He has also pleaded not guilty to assaulting Karl Finnegan, causing him harm, at the same place on the same date.

Dr Curtis told the court that he carried out a post-mortem examination of Ms Finnegan’s body on September 22. He testified that he found a stab wound located about eight inches below her left armpit and it tracked from left to right.

The stab wound had entered the left chest cavity in the space between the seventh and eight rib.

Vesel Jahiri (35) is accused of fatally injuring his ex-partner Anna Finnegan (25)
Vesel Jahiri (35) is accused of fatally injuring his ex-partner Anna Finnegan (25)

The approximate depth of the wound track was 14 cm and it was directed downwards at a 45 degree angle. He said the shape of the wound indicated that a blade with a single cutting edge to it was used to inflict the injury as opposed to a dagger type implement with two sharp edges.

The injury had caused a “massive haemorrhage” into Ms Finnegan’s left chest cavity and her left lung had collapsed. Dr Curtis said Ms Finnegan’s pancreas had been pierced with the stab wound and her abdominal aorta had been wounded. “The aorta is the main blood vessel in the body and it is in the lower abdominal portion. The track of the stab wound had sliced the aorta and terminated at that site,” he said.

A dark brown handled knife with a single edged blade, measuring 14 cm, was shown to Dr Curtis. He noted the very tip of the blade region was damaged and deviated to the right. He said that in his opinion this knife or a knife of a similar type could have inflicted this wound.

No drugs or alcohol were detected in Ms Finnegan's body.

Dr Curtis gave the cause of death as a single stab wound to the chest. The wound was non-survivable but Ms Finnegan may have been able to function for a short period of time afterwards, most likely minutes.

There was no evidence of any defensive type injuries to Ms Finnegan’s body.

Under cross examination by Mr Micheal P O’Higgins SC, defending, Dr Curtis said there was no evidence of any bone damage and no more than moderate force would have been required to penetrate the skin. There was no hilt mark to the deceased’s skin.

Dr Curtis agreed that because it was such a severe injury that if it was done accidentally in the course of an operation there would be a real risk of losing a patient. He agreed that the person upon whom the injury had been inflicted may not be aware they had suffered such an injury.

Dr Curtis said the track terminated on the abdominal aorta and if the knife had not gone near Ms Finnegan's aorta she may have survived. He agreed it was by chance that the knife did not come into contact with any ribs which might have obstructed its path.

Evidence

The jury also heard Mr Valdas Marma give evidence. He said he was watching television in his house on Allendale Grove on September 21 when he heard loud knocking on his front door.

When he answered the door, Ms Joan Broe was standing there with her dog and she said she had heard noises around the corner at a house in Allendale Glen. She said she was afraid to go there on her own so they walked around the corner together.

He agreed with Mr O’Higgins in cross-examination that he saw a dark haired woman holding her hands tightly around her body before she collapsed in the driveway. The witness said a red car was blocking his view of the dark-haired woman so he did not see her fall. He agreed that he did not see the woman being placed into a car but he heard it drive off.

He also agreed that he did not see an injured man fighting with a bald man at any point nor a bald man chase after the dark haired lady, jump on top of her, bring her to the ground and then punch her.

Opening the prosecution case to a jury last week, Mr Patrick Marrinan SC said that Mr Jahiri and Anna Finnegan were in a relationship for about ten years and had two young children together.

However, their relationship "turned sour" prior to September 2012 and they ended up separating. It is alleged that Mr Jahiri stabbed Ms Finnegan to death after he “battered” down her front door and attacked her and her brother.

The trial continues before Mr Justice Paul Coffey and a jury of nine men and three women. It is expected to last between four and five weeks.

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