Sunday 23 November 2014

Trial of man accused of killing another by knocking him under bus reaches closing stages

Conor Gallagher

Published 20/05/2014 | 17:23

The trial of a man accused of killing another by knocking him under a Dublin Bus has reached its closing stages.

Edward Connors (30) is alleged to have punched Eoghan Dudley (28) on Dawson Street, causing him to go under the bus.

The jury has heard that the the issue they must decide is whether Mr Connors hit Mr Dudley and whether this hit caused him to fall under the bus which crushed his head.

The accused, who is deaf mute, admits interacting with the deceased but claims that what looks like a punch on CCTV footage is actually him trying to grab Mr Dudley to stop him falling off the path and going under the bus.

Mr Connors of no fixed abode and formerly of Bearna Park, Sandyford, has pleaded not guilty at Dublin Circuit Criminal Court to unlawfully killing Eoghan Dudley (28) on Dawson Street on December 6, 2012.

The prosecution say the main evidence against him is the seven eye witness accounts from people who saw the incident and extensive CCTV footage of the moments Mr Dudley was killed.

Both the accused and the deceased were heroin users and had the drug in their system at the time.

In his closing speech, prosecuting counsel Tom O’Connell SC, told jurors that Mr Dudley would still be alive today if it wasn’t for the actions of Mr Connors.

Mr Connors told gardaí during interview he tried to grab the deceased as he stumbled back off the footpath and that his fist accidentally made contact with Mr Dudley’s face.

Counsel said that if the jury believes that Mr Connors was assaulting Mr Dudley, they must convict him of manslaughter.

He said there were seven eyewitnesses who are unanimous in saying that the accused punched the man before he fell back.

Mr O’Connell said that Mr Dudley died a “frightful” and “gothic” death which “will be engraved on (the witnesses’) minds forever.”

Defence counsel Caroline Biggs SC asked the jury to examine the circumstances in which the witnesses saw the incident and told them that “perception can be wrong.”

She said one witness, a bus driver, was concentrating on driving his bus at the time meaning he could only have caught glimpses of the incident and “couldn’t possibly have caught the full picture.”

She said another witness admitted in cross examination that he couldn’t be sure if what he saw was a punch or a grab. A further witness said she saw a punch to the chest, in contrast to others who saw a punch to the face.

Ms Biggs said the evidence shows there “was a break in causation”; that Mr Connors connected with Mr Dudley who then stepped back and lost his balance in a movement unrelated to the contact.

The jury of seven women and five men will begin its deliberations tomorrow after being addressed by Judge Patrick McCartan.

Irish Independent

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