Woman stabbed brother after he hit her, court told
Published 06/02/2010 | 05:00
A MAN allegedly knifed to death by his sister hit her in the jaw shortly before he slumped to the ground with a fatal stab wound to the chest, a court heard yesterday.
Caroline Brennan (19), of Love Lane, Castlecomer, Co Kilkenny, denies murdering her brother Michael (22) after a house-party in their uncle's house in the early hours of December 30, 2008.
The second day of her murder trial at the Central Criminal Court in Waterford heard that Mr Brennan punched his girlfriend and told her: "If you go near this house again, I'm going to smash your f****** head in."
When Ms Brennan told him to stop, he said to her: "You'll be next if you keep it up."
The accused's boyfriend Keith Byrne told the court that he saw Mr Brennan hitting Ms Brennan "a back-hander across the jaw".
After Mr Brennan came back to hit his sister again, he "just slumped to the ground", Mr Byrne said.
Earlier in the night, Mr Byrne saw Ms Brennan taking a knife out of a drawer in the house they shared at Love Lane.
When he asked her what she was bringing the knife with her for, she answered him: "For Michael. I need it for protection." She hadn't wanted to go to her uncle Ollie Nolan's house as she thought it was "unsafe", he said.
The court heard that Mr Brennan took cocaine, heroin, cannabis, morphine and alcohol at the party.
Two of his friends who gave evidence, Peter Timmons and Thomas Timmons, agreed that he was "dangerous" when he had drink and drugs taken.
A statement Thomas Timmons made to the gardai was read to the court, in which he said he saw Ms Brennan with a knife in her hand. "The next thing she just stuck the knife in Michael Brennan. I'm not sure what striking action she made. Michael fell backwards on to the ground."
The deceased's girlfriend, Lisa Peagram, lived part of the time in Ollie Nolan's house -- where Mr Brennan was also staying -- and in her parents' house. She had to leave the uncle's house a number of times because of violence by Mr Brennan, she told the court.
On the night of the party, she said, he argued with Ms Brennan and with Ms Brennan's boyfriend Mr Byrne.
At about 2.30am, Mr Brennan "boxed" Ms Peagram before grabbing her by the throat and pushing her out the door.
She went outside and Ms Brennan came out to console her. A few minutes later, somebody came out and told her, "Michael is after being stabbed".
Ms Brennan was crying and saying: "I can't believe I stabbed my brother."
The trial resumes next Tuesday before Judge Paul Carney and a jury.