independent

Saturday 19 April 2014

Scholarship plan to remember Toyosi as man acquitted of stabbing murder

A MAN accused of murdering Toyosi Shittabey was acquitted of the charge after the trial judge directed the jury to find him not guilty – meaning no one is likely to be prosecuted for the death of the Nigerian teenager.

The talented soccer player was fatally stabbed in West Dublin two years ago on Good Friday in what has been described as a row with racial undertones.

Mr Justice Barry White also directed the jury to find the 26-year-old man not guilty of producing a baseball bat.

Plans are now under way to commemorate the 15-year-old boy with an Education Through Sport scholarship.

Ken McCue of the Sport Against Racism body said Toyosi had been a member of the INSAKA Academy football squad and had been 'farmed out' for training with Shelbourne.

Toyosi was making great progress there, he revealed, adding: "He had potential and had a good attitude. His death was a terrible tragedy."

He said more work needed to be done to help integration and social inclusion.

Michael Barry (26), of Pigeon House Road, Ringsend in Dublin 4, had pleaded not guilty to the murder of the Nigerian teenager on April 2, 2010, at The Boulevard, Mount Eustace in Tyrrelstown, Dublin 15.

Mr Barry had also pleaded not guilty to producing a baseball bat in the course of a dispute.

It was the prosecution's case that Michael's brother Paul, who is now deceased, inflicted the stab wound on Toyosi but that Michael was an accessory to the murder, following what had been described as a row with racial undertones.

On day seven of the trial, Mr Justice White said that there was no evidence to suggest Mr Barry knew his brother Paul was carrying a knife when he drove him to The Boulevard in Mulhuddart where the teenager was stabbed.

Mr Justice White told the jury that they were advised by prosecuting counsel Brendan Grehan, in the opening of the trial, that it was the prosecution's case that Mr Barry was as guilty as his brother by reason of joint enterprise.

He said the prosecution contended Michael Barry might have been economical with the truth but that there was no evidence he was aware Paul Barry had a knife. He told the jury that defence counsel Patrick Gageby argued that both counts should be withdrawn.

He also said one witness, Glen Lupepe (18), was not prepared to travel back from the UK to give evidence and that arrangements were made for him to give video evidence but that he had refused to co-operate.

"I don't know what his evidence was to be but prosecution advised he was an important witness," said Mr Justice White.

The judge directed a verdict of not guilty be issued against Mr Barry, saying "the interest of justice may not be well served in this case", and discharged the jury exempting them from jury duty for 10 years.

The six-day trial had heard that a row broke out outside Paul Barry's house at Mount Garrett Rise between Paul, Michael, five black males and five white females after one of the females asked Paul for a cigarette lighter and he had refused.

A fight broke out resulting in Michael and Paul being kicked and punched and the brothers believing one of the youths had taken a mobile phone.

The trial also heard evidence that after the youths fled the scene at around 8pm, Michael drove Paul in his jeep to The Boulevard in the estate in order to retrieve the mobile phone from the youths.

Paul had gotten out of the jeep and approached one of the black youths. Toyosi then ran towards Paul, who had a knife and was stabbed in the heart.

He was pronounced dead at 9.05pm.

Toyosi's parents were not in court when the judge gave the jury his direction.

Irish Independent

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