Saturday 27 December 2014

Trial in murdered Limerick pensioner case nears an end

Published 22/01/2014 | 18:44

Gavel and book
A jury was reminded today of the severity of injuries inflicted on James Boyce (71)

A jury was reminded today of the severity of injuries inflicted on a Limerick pensioner found dead in his home following an attack with a sweeping brush.

Christopher McNamara (21) of Good Shepherd Villas, Pennywell road in Limerick has pleaded not guilty to the murder of James Boyce (71) at St Munchins Street, St Mary’s Park in Limerick between March 6 2011 and March 7 2011.

Micheál O’Higgins SC, prosecuting asked that the jury consider the nature of the injuries inflicted when coming to their verdict.

“When weighing up the issue, it is important to have regard to the nature and severity of injuries inflicted on this defenceless pensioner who was subjected to beating and choking with a stick.”

“Fracturing someone’s adams apple will cause serious harm. According to State Pathologist Marie Cassidy, ‘the neck injuries would have been sufficient to cause death even in a young and healthy person’.”

“The absence of any effort to call for help after assaulting him must be looked at - instead going on a spending spree.”

The prosecutor also referred to the statement made by the mother of the accused confessing the crime.

“The statement by Pauline Whelan is an important aspect in this case in which a startling account is given by the accused man to his mother. It is a confession as to what he did and how.”

Michael O’Higgins SC defending asked that the jury find his client not guilty of murder but guilty of manslaughter.

“I accept on his (Christopher McNamara) behalf that you have a minimum verdict of manslaughter to bring on him,” he said.

“This is a most unpleasant case with a nastiness to it but you have to put it into context. Mr Boyce died in unfortunate circumstances from injuries inflicted – this ceases to be a who done it but is a how or why.”

“There are buckets of evidence of what happened before and after but very little on the event itself. We concede on the evidence that Christopher McNamara has killed James Boyce – but what are the circumstances in which it occurred and what was his state of mind.”

“This has the hallmarks of a robbery that went wrong. If it was robbery, the primary intention was to attack the man to get at his money. There is plenty of evidence to say he (the accused) was out of his head.”

“There isn’t the slightest suggestion of any aggro between them – here was a young fella who Jimmy called to light his fires and get him coal.”

Mr Justice Garrett Sheehan will address the jury of seven men and five women tomorrow prior to deliberation.

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