Sunday 23 October 2016

Murder trial hears man was hit twice with baseball bat - first to his back and then on the side of his head

Alison O'Riordan

Published 26/02/2016 | 16:43

The court heard that Mooney had gone “cold turkey” on his use of tablets and cocaine and was on a detox program for his heroin use.
The court heard that Mooney had gone “cold turkey” on his use of tablets and cocaine and was on a detox program for his heroin use.

A young Kildare man was hit twice by a man with a baseball bat, first to his back and then on the side of his head, a murder trial jury has heard.

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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 called Alana Piercy.

The 19 year-old girl, who was living in Naas in 2014, told the court herself and her friend met up with three boys at the harbour in Naas on the day.

At 10pm the group decided they wanted to catch a bus home to Kildare so they began walking along the harbour.

"I was walking ahead and the others were behind us. I saw a white van parked outside a garden. As I was making my way home I heard shouting. I saw Mickey and Gavin running around the corner and a man with a baseball bat," said Ms Piercy.

The court heard the man with the baseball bat firstly hit JoJo (Joseph Dunne) on the back and he fell to the ground.

"When he (JoJo) fell to the ground the man hit him again on the side or back of the head," she said.

Ms Piercy described the man holding the baseball bat as "kind of small, skinny with baldy hair and glasses."

"He had jeans and a blue and yellow jumper on. The ambulance came and I went home. The man ran around to his house," she said.

In cross examination defence counsel Mr Colm O'Briain SC asked the witness if she recalled telling a garda that JoJo Dunne was only hit once.

"He wasn’t hit once," said Ms Piercy.

The prosecution then called Richard Conway to give evidence and he told the court he was walking down the Newbridge Road in Naas on May 16 at 10.15pm.

The court heard as he came around the corner at Harbour View there were two youths and one of them tried to start an argument with him.

"He wanted to fight me I think. I kept walking. I turned around to see if they were following me and I heard some banging. I wasn’t paying

attention to what cars were there at the time," he said.

In cross examination Mr Conway told counsel that the man shook his fist at him and called him a "hairy coward" as he would not fight him.

The witness also agreed with the barrister that he heard the sound of someone "kicking or thumping" a car "more than twice."

Prosecution counsel Ms Orla Crowe BL then called Anita Ryan to give evidence.

Ms Ryan who is a nurse told the court that she was out for dinner in the Vie de Châteaux restaurant in Naas on May 16.

Ms Ryan went to have a cigarette outside the restaurant after 10pm.

"I saw a group of youngsters screaming around the cars and a gentleman in the corner was holding a baseball bat. He seemed quite angry and was holding the baton up head high," she said.

Ms Ryan told the court: "I said something like put that down."

The witness said she heard the man saying: "I've seen what you have done to my car."

When the witness walked to the front of the restaurant she saw "a chap" on the ground.

Ms Ryan told the court she made a 999 call at 10.20pm that night before she administered first aid to "the man who turned out to be Joseph Dunne."

Later gardai asked Ms Ryan to walk back near the canal and identify a gentleman.

"I thought he looked quite similar to the gentleman who was holding the baseball bat," said Ms Ryan.

In cross examination the witness told counsel she did not see the young man being hit.

Derek Ryan who was attached to Naas Fire Service in May 2014 was then called by the prosecution.

Mr Ryan told the jury when he arrived at the scene he observed a "large lump on the left side" of the casualty's head.

"It was the size of a tennis ball," he said.

Detective Garda Niall Lennon who is a member of the Garda Technical Bureau was then called by Mr Condon.

He told the court he went to the scene "of a suspicious death" on May 16.

Det Gda Lennon then went to the mortuary of Naas General Hospital where he took a set of finger marks and palm marks from the deceased.

As well as this he also received a set of finger marks and palm marks from Zoltan Almasi.

The court heard the witness lifted three finger marks from the outside

of a van in the Harbour View area of Naas.

The first two sets of finger marks were made by Mr Almasi's "right middle finger" and the third set of finger marks were "likely to be

made by Joseph Dunne’s left forefinger."

Det Gda Lennon also told counsel he took possession of a baseball bat from a house at Harbour View.

He carried out an examination for finger marks and palm marks but with negative results.

The trial continues.

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