Saturday 19 August 2017

Woman accused of murdering brother 'called him a scumbag'

Conor Kane

A WOMAN accused of murdering her brother told gardai minutes after her arrest that she was afraid of her brother and he was a "scumbag", a court heard yesterday.

Caroline Brennan (19), of 14 Love Lane, Castlecomer, Co Kilkenny, denies the murder of Michael Brennan (22) after a party in her uncle's house on December 30, 2008.

The Central Criminal Court was told yesterday she told gardai "I did it" and she "put the knife in him" after Mr Brennan received a fatal stab wound to the chest at about 3am.

After she was arrested, at 4.30am, she told Sergeant Teresa Phillips "he has been at me and at me since I was young" and that, just before Michael was stabbed, "he smacked me in the face and I fell to the ground".

The accused brought a knife to the house party at her uncle's house on Barrack Street in Castlecomer so that Michael wouldn't be "at" her, the sergeant told the court.

In the garda car on the way to the station in Kilkenny, Caroline Brennan said: "He's a scumbag. He's my brother, I know."

He had taken heroin, she told the sergeant in the car, but locked her into a bathroom after she accused his friend, Ger O'Dowd, of supplying heroin to him. She also said in the garda car that she wanted to go to college, but felt that wouldn't happen now.

"I wanted to do everything I could to get away from him and then I ended up killing him."

She was afraid of Michael and said he had "pissed in my wardrobe and pushed me down the stairs" some months beforehand. She didn't stab him out of revenge, however.

Deputy State Pathologist Professor Michael Curtis told the court that Michael Brennan died as a result of a single stab wound to the left of the chest, 1.8cm long and 14cm deep. The wound went through his heart and 2cm into his liver, he said.

Toxicology reports showed the deceased had taken alcohol, opiates, cocaine and heroin.

Punch

There was some bruising to the dead man's knuckle, according to Prof Curtis -- suggesting that he may have thrown a punch.

The trial heard last week that Michael had punched his girlfriend, Lisa Peagram, shortly before he was stabbed.

Ger O'Dowd told the court yesterday that he and Michael had taken heroin on the night before the fatal stabbing, and that he had bought the drug for €50.

Garda Michael Lane said the atmosphere was "quite dangerous" around the scene of the stabbing after gardai arrived at Barrack Street in Castlecomer.

The people attending the house party became "very agitated" when they were told that Michael was dead. "They were all very drunk and completely out of it," he said.

Caredoc driver Damien Ryan said, in his statement to gardai, that people were "trying to kick the door to get in" when Michael was being attended to by the doctor. One man, who was "small and skinny" and had a Dublin accent, called Mr Ryan "a murdering bastard", he said.

The trial continues today before Judge Paul Carney.

Irish Independent

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