Thursday 26 April 2018

Girlfriend tried to stop fatal stab attack on boyfriend, court hears

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Stock picture

Eoin Reynolds

A woman has told a murder trial that she tried to intervene while her boyfriend was being stabbed to death by two men.

Sharon Kelly was giving evidence in the trial of two men accused of murdering 26-year-old Shane Murphy at The Grove, Pallasgreen, Co Limerick on April 30, 2015.

Dylan Hayes (22) of The Crescent, Kilteragh, Dooradoyle, Co Limerick and Ger Hogan (33) of Raheen Square, Ballinacurra Weston, Co Limerick, have pleaded not guilty.

Ms Kelly told prosecuting counsel Paul Burns SC that she and Mr Murphy had been boyfriend and girlfriend for about three months by the end of April, 2015."

On the day Mr Murphy died Ms Kelly and Mr Murphy were at her home with two females named Ailish Flood and Jodie Byrnes, and one of the accused men Ger Hogan.

Ailish and Jodie went to a local shop to get drink and came back with Druid's Glen cider and beer. At that point Ms Kelly, who was not drinking, said the atmosphere in the house was "fine" but when Jodie told her that Dylan Hayes was on his way over, Sharon told her Mr Hayes would not be allowed in.

She said Mr Hayes knocked on the door and entered with another man who she later found out was named Graham Kelly. The witness noticed that Mr Hayes had a gun in his hand, but she did not know if it was real or a replica. Ms Kelly told Mr Burns that she was "very unhappy" about Mr Hayes being in the house.

"I told them to get out," she said, but Mr Hayes said he wanted to speak to Jodie Byrnes and that he wanted to "sort out" a man named Wayne. Ms Kelly had already given evidence that a neighbour named Wayne had arrived at the house the previous night and got into bed with Jodie Byrnes while she slept. Ms Kelly said that Wayne was drunk and didn't know what he was doing and left when told to go.

She said that normally Shane and Ger Hogan got on "like a house on fire" but when Mr Hayes arrived the atmosphere changed. "They were slagging each other off," she said, before she intervened and called Dylan a "junkie".

"Dylan headbutted me," she said. Then Shane told Mr Hayes to, "cop on and have a bit of respect," before telling Mr Hayes to leave. She said Ger Hogan was "egging Dylan on" telling him that Shane had called him a junkie.

"I said to Shane, 'I want them to leave,' so he stood up to tell them to go once and for all but as far as I can remember that is when he got stabbed first."

She said she tried to get in between Shane and the two men but she was pushed out of the way.

"They were both stabbing him," she said. She said Mr Hayes was using a screwdriver while Mr Hogan used a knife. She said it felt like a life-time but the attack probably only lasted about four or five minutes.

By the end Shane was on the floor covered in blood. She wrapped him in a blanket but then Mr Hayes and Mr Hogan came back and started stabbing him again, saying "give it to him, give it to him"."I tried to stop them," she said. "I tried kicking and screaming to try and stop them." She said she got stabbed multiple times in her hands and back.

As the attack happened Jodie Byrnes called the emergency services and when Mr Hogan and Mr Hayes left the scene they tried to instruct Ms Kelly on how to give CPR and to stem the flow of blood. At one point, she said Ger Hogan came back again and said: "Ah, he'll be alright."

By the time the ambulance and gardai arrived, "Shane was gone," she said.

Ms Kelly will return to giving evidence in front of Justice Patrick McCarthy and a jury of five women and seven men at the Central Criminal Court tomorrow.

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