Saturday 17 March 2018

Homeless man didn't realise he had stabbed victim in heart, court hears

A homeless Dubliner said he didn’t realise he had stabbed a 23-year-old man in the heart after the man had called him a ‘junkie’ and grabbed him.

Thomas Kinsella (34) of Orchid House on James’s Street in the capital has pleaded not guilty to murdering John Murdoch on August 27, 2011, insisting that he was defending himself.

The Central Criminal Court has heard that Mr Murdoch was stabbed to death at Cushlawn Way - Cushlawn Dale in Tallaght.

Detective Garda Camon Ryan testified that he arrested Mr Kinsella the following day and interviewed him at Tallaght Garda Station.

He said Mr Kinsella told him that he and two friends, a man and a woman, were walking past a shop in Cushlawn shortly after midnight on August 27th.

“There was a group of blokes there. They started saying things like junkies and scumbags,” he said.

He said he and his two friends didn’t respond and crossed the road.

“They kept following us the whole way,” he said.

He told detectives that this group then began throwing big bricks and bottles at them, just missing his female friend’s head.

“One of them just missed it with a brick,” he said. “I heard one of them saying it nearly got her.”

He said he became separated from his friends when they ran away and that he felt threatened.

He said one of the three males then ran at him and they got into a struggle.

“I thought he had something in his hand,” he said.

“I had a knife,” he admitted, indicating that he just wanted to show it.

“He ran at me. He grabbed me. We fell down on the ground and it went into him,” he said. “I didn’t even think it went in that much.”

When asked why he was carrying a knife, he said he had received threats in Tallaght before and had been assaulted two or three times.

“I was stabbed in the neck a few months ago so I had a fear of that happening again,” he said.

“When I knew I was coming out to stay in Tallaght, I got it,” he said of the homemade knife, explaining that he’d found it a couple of days earlier in his hostel.

When asked why he hadn’t called an ambulance, he said he thought that Mr Murdoch would get up and walk away.

He said he found out the next morning that he had died.

“I wanted to wait until my baby was born to hand myself in,” he said, indicating that his girlfriend was due in a few days.

“It happened so quick, like seconds,” he said of the incident, agreeing that he was sorry.

“I just tried to defend myself,” he added. “Because of a silly argument, it went too far.”

The trial continues before Mr Justice Barry White and a jury of seven women and five men.

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