| 18.8°C Dublin

Court hears that murder accused told witness there’s 'nothing like smell of dead body'

A WITNESS has told the Central Criminal Court that a Dublin man accused of the murder of Adel Essalhi said he had burned the deceased man’s body and told her there was "nothing like the smell of a dead body".

Martina Deegan was giving evidence in the trial of Wayne Kinsella (40), of The Plaza, Tyrrelstown, who has pleaded not guilty to the murder of Mr Essalhi (31) in the fields behind the Plaza in Tyrrelstown, Blanchardstown, on January 6, 2011.

Ms Deegan told counsel for the prosecution, Mr Alex Owens SC, that she was living in a duplex apartment in Tyrrelstown Plaza last year, where the accused man Wayne Kinsella was also staying.

She said that on the afternoon of January 6, 2011 she was drinking in a pub on Parnell Street in Dublin city centre with Wayne Kinsella and a man called Ali who had joined their company.

Ms Deegan told the court that the group later took a taxi back to the Tyrrelstown apartment complex, where they drank through the afternoon and evening with a number of other people, including a relative and girlfriend of Wayne Kinsella.

She said that, after taking a mobile phone call, Wayne Kinsella pointed out a sleeping Ali as “the getaway driver” involved in the death of his brother Lee Kinsella.

Ms Deegan said she told Wayne Kinsella to leave Ali alone, but the accused man insisted Ali was the getaway driver and told her: “His nickname is Fish, he was the getaway driver”.

She said that Wayne Kinsella’s relative paced up and down and also repeated that Ali was responsible for Lee Kinsella’s death.

Ms Deegan said that both Wayne Kinsella and his relative were “hyper and aggressive” and began kicking Ali’s feet and telling him to wake up.

She said when she told Wayne Kinsella that “nothing would happen” in her apartment, he replied: “Don’t worry, nothing will happen here.”

Ms Deegan said when Ali awoke he was given a white hoody to wear, while Wayne Kinsella looked at her and winked as he told Ali that they were leaving the apartment to go to a party. She said that the three men then left the apartment.

She told the court that Wayne Kinsella and his relative later returned to the apartment in a “very agitated” state, and when she asked where Ali was Wayne Kinsella told her he was “brown bread” because he had “cut his throat”.

Ms Deegan said that Wayne Kinsella’s relative then grabbed the accused man in headlock and began acting out the attack, after which Wayne Kinsella told her: “If you think I’m evil, he’s worse.”

She said that after both men went downstairs and stripped off their clothes, Wayne Kinsella’s relative handed her his clothes and asked her to wash them.

Ms Deegan said that Wayne Kinsela also asked her to wash a blood-covered black-handled knife which was lying on the kitchen table.

She said brought the knife to the kitchen sink but started to shake so much that the accused man came behind her , grabbed the knife, covered it with bleach and started scrubbing, telling her: “I’ll show you how it’s done.”

She told Mr Owens that the next evening, having been “in and out” of the apartment all day, Wayne Kinsella arrived with a black bag containing “a big green can” of petrol.

Ms Deegan said that as Wayne Kinsella and his relative left the apartment, the accused man gave her a “look” which she took to mean “open your mouth and you’re dead”.

She said when the men returned she asked Wayne Kinsella where he had been, to which the accused man told her had gone up to “burn the body” and “there’s nothing like the smell of a dead body”.

Ms Deegan told Mr Owens that a machete that she had confiscated from her son and hidden in the car park of the Plaza apartment complex was the same machete uncovered by gardai approximately 100 yards from where Mr Essalhi’s body was found in a drain.

She said that sometime before January 6 Wayne Kinsella offered to dispose of the machete after she told him she wanted to get rid of it.

Under cross-examination by Mr Michael O’Higgins SC, for the defence, Ms Deegan said she had not told gardai the truth at the beginning of the investigation.

She agreed she had left Wayne Kinsella’s relative out of her initial accounts of the events of January 6 as he was like a “son” to her and she did not want to believe he was capable of “doing something like this”.

Ms Deegan agreed that she told gardai in a statement that was “feeling quite drunk” when she left the pub on Parnell Street on the afternoon of January 6 and that she continued drinking beer and vodka shots that night.

Put to her by Mr O’Higgins that she was not telling the truth about Wayne Kinsella admitting he had killed anybody, stabbed anybody or had cans of petrol, Ms Deegan told the court that she was telling the truth now.

The trial continues in front of Mr Justice Garrett Sheehan and a jury of seven women and five men.