Friday 23 February 2018

Man (63) was beaten, stabbed, strangled and poisoned during robbery, man on trial for murder told gardai

Sabrina Cummins and brother, Kenneth, deny the murder charges
Sabrina Cummins and brother, Kenneth, deny the murder charges

Alison O'Riordan

A 63-year-old man was beaten, stabbed with a fork, strangled and poisoned with cleaning fluids during a robbery, one of two siblings on trial for murder told gardai.

Kenneth Cummins (28) and Sabrina Cummins (37), with an address at Ringsend Park, Dublin 4, have both pleaded not guilty to murdering Thomas Horan (63) at Cambridge Court, Ringsend on January 6th last year.

Prosecution counsel Remy Farrell SC today asked Dr Alan McGee, who is attached to the Forensic Science Lab, whether he was aware that Kenneth Cummins and Sabrina Cummins were identified as suspects in this case.

"You are aware Mr Cummins admitted to strangling Mr Horan with a belt, force feeding him spirits and beating him with a stick?"

"That’s correct," replied Dr McGee.

The court then heard from witness Jim Muldoon, who was the brother-in-law of the deceased. Mr Horan was previously married to Mr Muldoon's sister Margaret.

Kenneth Cummins
Kenneth Cummins

"At the time of Thomas Horan's death they were separated but not legally. They both had their own difficulties, both of them were mentally challenged," said the witness.

Prosecution counsel Mr Farrell asked Mr Muldoon was there any question of Mr Horan having fostered children in the past?

The witness replied saying there was "no question that he could be allowed on account of his difficulties".

The barrister asked Mr Muldoon if he knew Mr Horan previously lived in a flat in Ranelagh which was beneath a flat occupied by Sabrina Cummins' sister.

"Sabrina Cummins visited that flat and she got to know Thomas Horan and they became friends?" asked the prosecutor.

The witness replied saying Mr Horan was "mentally challenged" and "an easy touch".

Mr Farrell then asked if from time to time, when Sabrina Cummins sister was having difficulties with her partner, she would stay with Mr Horan?

"Yes" replied the witness.

Later in the afternoon a social worker who was called to give evidence told the court that Sabrina Cummins and her sister Breda were never fostered by Mr Horan.

Witness Sarah O'Carroll said to Mr Farrell: "From the files neither of these people were fostered by Thomas Horan."

Reading from a statement given by Kenneth Cummins to Gda Brian Hunt at Irishtown garda station on January 8, 2014, Mr Farrell read to the court that Mr Cummins suffered from depression and self harm.

The jury heard in the statement given by Mr Cummins that his sister Sabrina said the deceased "looked after or fostered" Sabrina and her sister Breda when they were growing up.

"Sabrina told me he lived in Ringsend. She told me she stayed there sometimes," read Mr Farrell.

The court heard from Mr Cummins statement that Sabrina and Kenneth Cummins went to Mr Horan's bedsit on the night to rob him of €2,000.

Reading from the statement Mr Farrell read Mr Cummins struck the deceased with a stick three or four times.

"She asked me to get a knife. She didn't use that knife and told me to get a fork which she stuck in his neck three or four times,"  read the barrister.

Mr Farrell also read that Mr Cummins said the two of them strangled Mr Horan with a belt.

"She put it around his neck and she asked me to pull it tighter so I started pulling it. First the stick, then the fork/knife, then the belt, then the spirits. We strangled him for 10-20 mins and used all our strength," read the barrister.

Mr Farrell read that Kenneth Cummins told gardai that Sabrina said she was going to finish the job right so she poisoned him with a bottle of white spirits, toilet cleaner and washing up liquid.

"She said we have to finish it and asked me to hold his hands tight and poured white spirits down his throat.

"She turned around and said the b****** still isn’t dead, she then got toilet cleaner liquid and asked me to hold his hands tight when she poured it down his throat.  She asked me to get washing up liquid and the same again so we did that as well," read Mr Farrell.

In the statement the court heard that Kenneth Cummins told gardai that Ms Cummins kicked him in the face and banged the deceased's head on a shelf four times.

"I checked him and he was gone and I picked up a jacket and put it over his head, All we got was €50, we looked everywhere for money," read the barrister.

"All I know is we wanted the money and it turned to violence and we had to finish it off," he continued.

The trial continues.

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