Wednesday 25 April 2018

Flatmate's death 'a case of overkill', court hears

Deceased found with knife in chest and 21 stab wounds

Criminal Courts of Justice (CCJ) Dublin
Criminal Courts of Justice (CCJ) Dublin

Natasha Reid

A 31-year-old man found with a knife protruding from his chest and 21 stab wounds endured ‘a case of overkill’, a murder trial has heard.

Kamal El Habsati was found dead in his Dublin apartment on December 5th 2012. His employer had raised the alarm after he and his flatmate had failed to show up at work for a number of days.

His flatmate, Jacky Lumi, had left the country by the time the deceased was found, but later told Gardaí he’d stabbed his flatmate following a row about bills.

The 42-year-old Dutch man is now on trial at the Central Criminal Court, charged with murdering Mr El Habsati on December 1st 2012. Mr Lumi, of no fixed abode, has pleaded not guilty to his murder at their apartment at Linnbhla, Santry Cross in Ballymun.

State Pathologist Professor Marie Casssidy testified yesterday (Friday) that she found 21 stab wounds on the deceased during his post-mortem exam. His heart, lungs and liver were injured and the knife had been left in his heart.

She said the knife had gone through his left hand and said that this may have been a defensive injury.

She also said the pattern of injuries indicated that he may have been on the ground when he received some of the wounds. A stab wound to his knee could have been caused when he was on the ground and brought his leg up to protect the rest of his body.

She said a number of scratches to his face could have been caused by the tip of the knife being drawn across the skin.

She concluded that his cause of death was multiple stab wounds to his trunk and bleeding from his heart, aorta, lungs and liver.

Under cross examination by Patrick Marrinan SC, defending, she agreed that several of the injuries were potentially fatal and it was difficult to say exactly which one caused death.

She agreed that there were many more slits on his clothing than wounds on his body, with many thrusts of the knife having apparently missed their target.

She was asked if pathologists had a term for cases involving so many stab wounds.

“The term we apply to that is a case of overkill,” she said, indicating that a person had received more injuries than necessary to cause death.

She agreed that ‘it may be’ indicative of a loss of self-control.

However, under re-examination by Caroline Biggs SC, prosecuting, she agreed that she could not say what was in the mind of a person.

The trail heard that the deceased was originally from Morocco, but had lived in Holland with his parents. He had moved to Dublin just months before he died.

The trial continues before Mr Justice Patrick McCarthy and a jury of seven men and five women.

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