Sunday 22 October 2017

Murder trial of German student: 100 statements and 50 exhibits

Forensics and CCTV evidence also

Thomas Heinrich
Thomas Heinrich

Tom Tuite

A JUDGE has allowed the State have another four weeks to complete the book of evidence in the case of two youths awaiting trial for the murder of German student Thomas Heinrich who died following a fatal stabbing in Dublin last year.

Mr Heinrich, a 22-year-old post-graduate degree student from Munich, was stabbed in his stomach during an incident outside his apartment at St Anthony's Road, Rialto in Dublin's south inner city on December 1.

His friend Robert Rinker (22), also a student from Germany, suffered life threatening injuries and was in intensive care for two days.

In May, a now 17-year-old boy, who cannot be named, and Wesley Kelly (19), of St Anthony's Road, Rialto, Dublin, were charged at the Dublin Children's Court with the murder of Mr Heinrich and assault causing serious harm to Mr Rinker.

Both offences, on conviction, can carry life sentences.

Mr Kelly made no reply when the charges were put to him while his co-accused responded with “no comment”, Detective Sergeant Michael McNulty and Det-Sgt Michael O'Brien had said at the teens' first hearing on May 29 last.

Within a week the pair were released after members of their families stood €3,000 bail and today they appeared again at the juvenile court where Judge John O'Connor heard that the book of evidence in the case was not been completed yet.

A State solicitor told the judge that more time was required and agreed with the judge that the case involved a lot material, “about 100 statements, 50 exhibits, a lot of forensics and CCTV”.

Judge O'Connor noted from the defence lawyers that the pair were consenting to the adjournment and agreed to grant the State a time extension to finish preparing the book of evidence.

The youths, who were accompanied to court by family members, were remanded on continuing bail to appear again in four weeks when it is expected that they will be served with books of evidence and returned for trial.

Neither teenager has indicated how they will plead and while they have been charged in a juvenile court, the murder allegation means they will be tried at the Central Criminal Court.

Their bail terms state that they must reside at their current addresses, obey a 9pm to 7am curfew and sign on daily at their local garda station. They have also been warned that he must not contact each other personally or by electronic means and have “no contact directly or indirectly with witnesses”.

Mr Heinrich and his friend Mr Rinker, both students at the MHMK Makromedia School for Media and Communication in Munich, had to spend their third semester abroad and had decided to study at Griffith College in Dublin. Mr Heinrich had been expected to return home to Germany in December when his study period in Dublin was due to end.

The two students had been living at Herberton apartments on St Anthony's Road, Rialto.

At around 5.30am on Saturday, on December 1 last, they went outside where they sustained injuries; Mr Heinrich was rushed by ambulance to nearby St James's Hospital, where he underwent surgery, however, he was pronounced dead at 9am that day.

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