Sunday 19 January 2020

Blood came out of his ear, witness tells murder trial

Natasha Reid

AN internet cafe owner, accused of kicking a customer to death in a row over 70c, admitted "I kicked him", a witness has told a murder trial.

Chong Yu was giving evidence on the third day of the trial of Zhen Dong Zhao (36), who is charged with murdering a customer who had not paid for a phone call.

Mr Zhao (36), a Chinese man, with an address at Jervis Street, Dublin, has pleaded not guilty to murdering Finglas man Noel Fegan on May 20, 2011.

The Central Criminal Court has heard that the alleged attack took place outside e-Times on Wellington Quay.

Mr Yu told the court that after the incident he asked Mr Zhao what was wrong and he replied: "I kicked him."

Mr Fegan (40), who had been living on Aughrim Street, had gone into the shop to phone his daughter, from whom he had received a 'call me' text.

The witness told the trial that Mr Zhao, whom he knew as Joe, sub-let the 24-hour internet cafe from Mr Yu's wife, Cherry.

Mr Yu said he went to e-Times on the Friday afternoon in question. Mr Zhao was behind the counter.

Two men came in around 4pm. They walked to the back of the shop as they told Mr Zhao they wanted to use the phone.

The men came out of the booth about two minutes later and the smaller man said the phone was not working.


The witness continued: "Joe said, 'Would you wait?' He checked the system and said the phone (call) went through. The man said, 'I've no money.'"

The court has already heard that the call cost 70c.

"The man took a 10 cent out of his pocket and threw it at Joe and said, 'That's all I have,' said Mr Yu. "Joe said, 'You have to pay.' He (the man) said he had no money.

"Joe was holding his shirt and the small man was using the back of his right hand to hit Joe on the right side of the face," explained Mr Yu, demonstrating with a closed fist.

"Joe fell against the counter and both men ran out. Joe stood up and followed them out. He ran."

Mr Yu said that he was a little scared and that it may have been a minute before he went outside himself.

"I saw the man on the ground, on his back," he said, explaining that the man was breathing heavily.

"One or two minutes later, blood came out of his right ear."

He said he asked Mr Zhao what was wrong.

"He said: 'I kicked him,'" testified Mr Yu.

The trial has already heard that Mr Zhao has accepted that he kicked the deceased.

It is the prosecution's case that Mr Fegan died of bleeding to the brain, caused by Mr Zhao kicking him in the head.

The trial continues before Mr Justice Patrick McCarthy and a jury of eight men and four women.

Irish Independent

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