Courts

Thursday 10 July 2014

Sister tells court she heard of brother's killing on television

Published 10/12/2013|18:02

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The defendant pleaded guilty to the attempted murder charge at the Central Criminal Court
The Central Criminal Court

The sister of a man stabbed to death in a derelict church said she learned about his killing on the television news.

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Paula Whyte was giving evidence to the Central Criminal Court in the trial of a 36-year-old man charged with murdering her brother by stabbing him more than 100 times.

Criostoir MacCarthaigh of An Gleann, Baile Phamar (Palmerstown), has pleaded not guilty to murdering David Whyte (35) in Dublin between September 24 and 26, 2008. Mr Whyte’s body was found in the ruin of an old church on Mill Lane in Palmerstown that September 26.

Ms Whyte testified today that she turned on the television news after work on Monday September 29, 2008. She heard a description of a man, which sounded like her brother. She said the clothing described was also familiar.

“I got a bit of a shock,” she said. “I thought he was asleep… the innocence of me.”

She called her brother’s phone, but it was out of service. She also phoned her sister, before dialling 999.

She and her sister then travelled to Ballyfermot Garda Station and she later identified her brother’s remains for gardai.

While Ms Whyte was in the witness box, the court was shown footage of a man chatting at the doorway of a shop near his home on the night of September 24, 2009. She identified the man as her brother, David Whyte.

The court heard that this was the last recorded sighting of the deceased.

The trial also heard yesterday from a man who said the accused had threatened him on the night of the killing.

Ivan Ennis said he was drinking with Mr Mac Carthaigh and others in Phibsborough that evening and that he had a small incident with the accused.

“He seemed to be having an argument with my girlfriend. I asked him to step outside,” he said.

“In the hallway, he had a stance on him. I got the impression he had something,” he continued. “He said: ‘I will cut you’.”

Mr Ennis said this made him apprehensive.

“I put my hands up,” he said. “I told him to calm down. He calmed down and we went back inside.”

It’s the State’s case that Mr Mac Carthaigh came across the deceased on Ulster Street as he left this party and that he stabbed him there. The State alleges that the accused then drove him to the old churchyard in Palmerstown, where he continued to stab him.

The trial continues before Mr Justice Patrick McCarthy and a jury of seven men and five women.

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