Wednesday 22 October 2014

Teen murder victim believed accused was racist

Nicola Donnelly

Published 06/12/2012 | 05:00

A YOUNG man who was with teenager Toyosi Shittabey the night he was stabbed to death said Toyosi claimed he knew one of the men they rowed with to be a racist.

Bobby Kuti (18) – a friend of 15-year-old Toyosi – said that when one of the white girls in the group he was with asked Paul Barry for a cigarette lighter, Mr Kuti commented: "I think even if he did have a lighter he wouldn't have given it to us."

It was day two of the trial of Paul's brother, Michael Barry (26) of Pigeon House Road, Ringsend in Dublin 4, who has pleaded not guilty to the murder of the Nigerian teenager, who was stabbed through the heart with a knife on April 2, 2010 at The Boulevard, Mount Eustace in Tyrrelstown, Dublin 15.

Mr Barry has also pleaded not guilty of producing a baseball bat during the dispute.

The prosecution argue that Michael's now deceased brother Paul (39), inflicted the stab wound on Toyosi but that Michael was an accessory to the murder.

Mr Kuti said he and his friends kept walking and heard one of the two men shouting "ya bunch of niggers".

"Paul Barry kept saying niggers and walking towards us. The taller guy had a smirk on his face and we squared up against them," said Mr Kuti.

He admitted he threw the first punch at Paul Barry as he thought he was going to hit him.

He said a fight broke out between him, his four male black friends and Michael and Paul and that he and his friends were "swinging" at the brothers.

He said a woman came out of Paul Barry's house when the fighting was taking place and she released a dog and one of the men asked her go get a baseball bat. When it was produced, he and his friends ran away.

He said they all came to a roundabout at The Boulevard and some became separated.

He said he saw a black jeep coming to an abrupt stop at the roundabout and he ran away.

Several minutes later he returned and saw Toyosi on the ground and gardai around him.

"I told him he was my cousin so I could get nearer him and I saw a lot of blood," he said.

He agreed with defence counsel Mr Patrick Gageby, SC, that Toyosi told him Paul Barry was a racist before one of the girls asked him for a lighter.

He agreed he would have thought a lot less of Paul Barry when he found this out.

Mr Gageby put it to Mr Kuti that he believed he and his friends had been snubbed by a man who Toyosi had believed had been racist to him before and that he and his friends decided to pick a fight with the Barry brothers.

Mr Gageby told Mr Kuti that Paul Barry calling him racist was "all a mistake by Toyosi".

He put it to Mr Kuti that he "became wound up" after the snub and made it worse by passing "a smart comment" because he thought he was a racist.

Mr Kuti denied his group started the abuse and replied: "We didn't pick a fight. We believed he was a racist, but that doesn't mean we called names first," said Mr Kuti, but he agreed that he and his friends "did something wrong because we were fighting with the men."

The trial continues.

Irish Independent

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