Sunday 22 April 2018

Accused used phrase 'Soviet attack', court hears

Niamh O’Donoghue

A Polish national accused of murdering a Romanian man by stabbing him to death in a Co. Cavan apartment used the phrase ‘Soviet attack’, a court has heard.

Przemyslaw Trebacz (35) of Bramble Rise, Killynebber, Cavan has pleaded not guilty to the murder of Romanian Costel Catalin Cretu (38) at Connolly Court, Connolly Street, Cavan between October 13 and 14, 2012.

The court has heard that Mr Cretu was guarding two prostitutes in an apartment when the alleged incident took place.

Mr Trebacz has pleaded guilty to criminal damage to a door belonging to Brendan Cosgrove at Connolly Court on October 13, 2012.

Taxi driver Gary Malone told Mr Patrick McGrath SC prosecuting that he knew the accused at the time of the incident because he was his neighbour at Bramble Rise for six months previous and knew him as ‘Shermek’.

He told the Central Criminal Court he got a call from the accused at around 11 o’ clock in the night in question looking for a taxi.

Mr Malone said the accused and a smaller skinhead guy with a striped jersey came out of the house and got into the car.

He said the accused got into the passenger seat and the skinhead got in the back seat behind him.

Mr Malone said the skinhead told him a third man was coming also and he told the court Shermek was saying “White house, White house” to him.

Mr Malone said he jokingly asked them “Is it Washington we’re going to?”

He said they were talking to each other in Polish and then he heard the accused using the phrase ‘Soviet attack’.

“I picked up on Shermek saying ‘Soviet attack’,” Mr Malone told the court.

He said he noticed a green woolly sock in his left hand with something solid in it.

Mr Malone said the skinhead man only spoke to the accused and the third man said nothing at all. He said the third man got out of the car and walked down towards Cavan town.

He said the accused left his phone in the bottle holder of his car and the two men got out of the taxi.

They were walking down towards Connolly Court apartments and he saw the accused kicking in the door in, he told Mr McGrath.

He said he panicked and he waited for about 10 minutes to try to see what was going on.

Mr Malone said he did not know what to do because the accused had left his phone in the car.

He said the two men pulled their tops up over their noses and walked briskly across the road before getting in the car.

Mr Malone said he could hear the flicker of paper that sounded like money being counted.

He said he asked what they had done and the skinhead threatened him to keep quiet and said “shut up or you and your family will be next.”

Mr Malone said he brought the men back to Bramble Rise and he handed back the accused’s phone before both men got out without paying the fare.

He said the skinhead was excited and the accused was calmer.

Mr Malone said his father, who was also a taxi driver, later told him that someone had been stabbed in Connolly Court.

“I was getting sick, I was frightened, I was confused,” Mr Malone told the court.

He then tried to ring Mr Trebacz twice and did not get through but received a call from the accused’s phone around midnight.

Mr Malone said a foreign girl speaking in English had called him on it and asked him to collect the two men from an estate called The Gallops.

They both got into the car and Mr Malone said he asked them what they were doing.

He said the accused kept mentioning the IRA and saying: “you have to keep your country, you have to keep your country.”

Mr Malone also said he mentioned the name of a man in Dublin who was in the real IRA.

He said he went home and couldn’t sleep and the next morning when he was with his friend the accused rang him.

Mr Malone said he told the accused he was away for the day and then rang the gardai, later pointing out the various addresses from the night before to them.

He will continue giving evidence tomorrow

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