Friday 24 February 2017

Witnesses called gardai about fight before stab death

Court told of trouble outside chip shop

Natasha Reid

At least three members of the public tried to prevent a fight minutes before two Polish mechanics were stabbed to death outside their Dublin home.

The Central Criminal Court heard yesterday that two people called gardai and another tried to bring one of the Polish men to safety after seeing trouble brewing outside a chip shop.

Pawel Kalite (29) and Marius Szwajkos (27) sustained stab wounds to their brains on February 23, 2008 on Benbulben Road, Drimnagh.

David Curran (19), of Lissadel Green, Drimnagh, has pleaded not guilty to their murder but guilty to their manslaughter. His 21-year-old co-accused, Sean Keogh of Vincent Street West, Inchicore, pleaded not guilty to the double murder.

Tracey Dillon was standing outside shops on Benbulben Road when she saw a teenaged boy in a grey tracksuit bump into a bald man and a scuffle start between them. There were two girls with the teenager and an older man got out of a Jeep and joined them, she said.

"The lad in the grey tracksuit, the two young girls and this older man were basically killing the bald chap on the ground," she said. "They were kicking him." She said the fight ended with the older man taking the boy away.

"One of the girls was carrying a bottle of vodka and the other had what appeared to be a bottle of wine," she recalled, explaining that the bald man started to walk by them. "One of them gave him a clatter across the face, across the neck. He just crossed the road."

Returned

Ms Dillon said the girls and the boy, who returned, began walking towards the Marble Arch pub.

She then noticed the girls and the boy among a group of six or seven running towards the shops from the pub area.

"There was a tall lad wearing a black and red jacket. I seen a screwdriver in his hand," she said. "They were screaming: 'Where's the b*st*rd? I'm going to kill him. Where's the c*nt?'

"I rang the police on my mobile. You just kind of knew what was going to happen."

Ms Dillon drove towards her home about 10 houses away from that of the victims. "I seen a body on the ground, on the footpath," she said.

She then noticed that there was more than one person down. "The chap I saw at the chipper was lying face down at the very last step of the garden with his face smashed into the step," she explained. "I thought they were dead."

Darren Lee said he was finishing off working behind the shutters of his butcher shop when he heard banging on them. He and his landlord, Rory O'Connor, went outside.

"The bald fellow was on the ground," he said. "The bald fellow picked himself up. He staggered towards the chipper."

He said that moments later they noticed girls across the road screaming abuse at the bald man. "One of the girls had a bottle," he recalled. "I went inside to ring the guards because I thought there was going to be an incident."

Mr O'Connor said that he ran inside to get his car keys so he could drive the bald man home. "I sensed there was going to be trouble," he said.

The trial continues.

Irish Independent

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