Wednesday 26 October 2016

Victim's partner 'unlikely to be imaginative and make up reference to 'scissor brothers',' murder trial hears

Aoife Nic Ardghail

Published 12/11/2015 | 18:12

Barbara Staunton leaving court
Barbara Staunton leaving court

The trial of a man accused of murdering a neighbour whose body was found in a wardrobe has reached closing stages at the Central Criminal Court.

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Anthony Locke (38), of Ramillies Road in Ballyfermot, has pleaded not guilty to the murder of Christopher Jackson (53) at his apartment on Prussia Street, between September 6th and 7th, 2012.

In his closing speech, Mr Conor Devally SC, prosecuting, explained to the jury that "common design" means all parties who engage in a criminal offence are guilty of that offence.

Referring to the evidence of Mr Jackson's partner, Barbara Staunton, Mr Devally submitted that the accused participated in the attack by restraining her.

He said he believed the accused told gardai in one interview that he wasn't saying any more because Mr Locke was “suddenly realising he was giving away too much of the truth”.

Mr Devally submitted to the jury that Ms Staunton, in his opinion, was “unlikely to be imaginative in her use of words” and asked the jury to consider whether she could have made up a reference to “the scissor brothers”.

Counsel asked the jury to consider in its deliberations the evidence of Mr Locke's cousin, who gave evidence that the accused told her “we done it”.

He asked the jury to consider if Mr Locke had “cleaned up because his bullyish, taunting, unpleasant, violent brother told him to” or because the accused was most likely to know where the buckets were and was most likely to clean up.

Mr Devally suggested that there had been a “division of labour” between the brothers in the killing and cleaning up.

He told the jury members that if they were satisfied Mr Locke was “a player, not an observer” in the killing, only then could his status change from innocent to guilty.

He added that if there was a reasonable doubt, then he should be acquitted.

Mr Padraig Dwyer SC, defending, submitted in his closing speech that the prosecution was relying on the words of Ms Staunton, whom he described as being inconsistent and telling lies.

Mr Dwyer submitted that his client had no motive for the killing as he had gotten on with Mr Jackson.

Counsel suggested that Ms Staunton's initial evidence to the jury that she had seen her partner's penis in Mr Locke's hand, showed “her capacity of getting images in her head and projecting it as true”.

He submitted that the jury should approach Ms Staunton's evidence “with fear”.

Earlier in the trial, the Deputy State Pathologist, Dr Michael Curtis, told the court that Mr Jackson's penis had been “intact” during post mortem examination.

Mr Dywer referred to Ms Staunton's garda interview in which she initially said Mr Locke had restrained her as she went to be sick outside on the street.

Counsel suggested she then admitted she hadn't been sick because she knew there was CCTV on the road and possible witnesses.

Mr Dwyer submitted that he believed Ms Staunton was “lying about loads of things about her involvement in this enterprise”.

“Her lies one on top of the other should be a reason for rejecting her testimony,” Mr Dwyer added.

Counsel asked the jury to acquit his client of murder and an alternative charge of concealing a body as there was “not enough evidence to say he did it without duress”.

The trial continues next Monday before Mr Justice Patrick McCarthy and a jury of six men and six women.

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