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Accused in teen death case was 'gullible'

A STUDENT was only charged in connection with the death of a teenager over two years ago because he is "the last man standing", a court was told yesterday.

Gardai investigating the murder of Stephen Lyne (17), of Castle Falls, Killarney, Co Kerry, never recommended to the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) that any charges be brought against Estonian Martin Ollo (19).

Mr Ollo, of An Doireann Aileann, Ballydribeen, Killarney, is on trial at Tralee Circuit Criminal Court on charges that he conspired with Shane Regan to assault Mr Lyne causing him harm at the Ross Road in the town. He denies the charges. Mr Lyne died on June 18, 2009, of a single stab wound to the back.

The other man mentioned in the charges, Mr Regan, whom the prosecution contends inflicted the fatal wound, died in August 2010 following a fall.

Previously the court heard that Mr Regan believed Mr Lyne had raped his then 15-year-old girlfriend, Jessica Klok, at knifepoint as well as other girls.

Earlier this week, Ms Klok admitted this had been a "blatant, disgusting lie" she had made up. The court heard this was the first time she had ever recanted those allegations.

In closing arguments yesterday, Tom Rice, prosecuting, said Mr Regan had "gone to his grave" believing Mr Lyne had raped Ms Klok.

Mr Rice said Ms Klok had been found in a "compromising situation" when she had been seen by friends in the Demesne in Killarney with a man who was not her boyfriend.

"She told Shane Regan that Stephen Lyne had dragged her into the woods, put a knife to her throat and raped her and that he had done this to four or five other girls," Mr Rice said.

Mr Rice said Ms Klok had told the court that Mr Regan admitted to her he killed Mr Lyne and that Mr Ollo had helped him.

Reliability

John O'Sullivan, defending, questioned the reliability of Ms Klok as a witness, a woman he said who had only admitted as late as Tuesday that she had been lying.

He said Mr Ollo was the only one ever charged in connection with the killing because he was the "last man standing".

Mr O'Sullivan said Mr Ollo was "stupid, naive and gullible" but this was not a crime.

"He came under the influence of Shane Regan, who was domineering, violent and manipulative but you cannot visit on him the actions of Mr Regan," he told the jury.

The jury is due to begin its deliberations this morning.

Irish Independent