Monday 15 October 2018

Emergency services found blood-soaked man outside home of murder accused

Tadhg Butler in a photo from 2000
Tadhg Butler in a photo from 2000

Natasha Reid

Waterford murder trial has heard that emergency services found a blood-soaked man on the ground outside the accused man’s house, which was also covered in blood and littered with alcohol cans.

A garda and a paramedic gave the evidence to the Central Criminal Court tin the trial of a 37-year-old man, charged with murdering another man in Co Waterford more than four years ago.

Tadhg Butler, with an address at Seafield in Tramore is accused of murdering 25-year-old Michael O’Dwyer on January 10, 2014 at a location in the county. He has pleaded not guilty.

Denis Vaughan Buckley SC opened the trial for the prosecution yesterday. He told the jury that the deceased had been stabbed in his chest at the accused man’s address. His heart and left lung had been injured, and he had died in hospital a couple of hours later.

“I think there’ll be no issue in this case but that the accused had a knife, which did cause the death of the unfortunate deceased,” he said.

The prosecutor also explained that Tadhg Butler had previously been called Thomas O’Grady, but had changed his name by deed poll.

“There’s nothing wrong whatsoever with changing your name by deed poll,” he remarked. “A lot of people do that.”

A garda photographer explained that the front door of the house had been forced in by gardai when he arrived. Detective Garda Eoin Conway also testified that the entrance and the living room floor were covered in blood.

Bringing the jury through the crime scene photographs, he said that there was also quite a number of cans and empty bottles in the house.

“The floor is littered with cans,” he added.

Referring to an off-licence receipt for €48.50, he confirmed that it appeared that drink had been ordered and delivered in the box to which it was attached.

Under cross examination by Michael Bowman SC, defending, he agreed that it was clear that ‘a very considerable amount of alcohol had been consumed in the very recent past in that property’.

A paramedic testified that he was called to a stabbing at that address and arrived to find a man lying on the ground outside the front door.

Michael Fanning told Tony McGillicuddy SC, prosecuting, that a garda was holding a bandage to the man’s chest. There was a lot of shouting and commotion, he added.

“His colour was pale. He was covered in blood and his clothing was blood-soaked,” he recalled. “There was no attempt by him to breathe and no response. His eyes were fully dilated and there were no signs of any pulse.”

He put the patient on advanced life support and took him by ambulance to hospital in Waterford, where he died within hours.

The trial continues Wednesday morning before Mr Justice Paul Butler and a jury of six men and six women. The jurors were told that they were the second jury sworn for this case, the first jury having been discharged due to one member having a difficulty.

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