Tuesday 26 March 2019

Man cleared of trying to murder man who was stabbed 28 times and forced into boot of car that was pushed into canal

The Central Criminal Court
The Central Criminal Court

Alison O'Riordan

A jury has taken just 43 minutes to clear a man of trying to murder a man who was stabbed 28 times and forced into the boot of a car that was pushed into a canal.

Paul Crosby (23), with an address at Rathmullen Park, Drogheda, Co Louth, had pleaded not guilty at the Central Criminal Court to the attempted murder of Gerard Boyle (33) at Knockcommon, Beauparc, Slane, Co Meath on November 10, 2016.

Mr Crosby had also pleaded not guilty to falsely imprisoning and intentionally or recklessly causing serious harm to Mr Boyle on the same occasion.

Mr Crosby was today found not guilty by unanimous verdicts on all three counts.

This was the second time that Mr Crosby had stood trial in relation to the offences. He went on trial in February 2018 charged with two counts of attempting to murder Mr Boyle firstly by stabbing him 28 times and later by pushing that car into a canal.

The jury in that trial found Mr Crosby not guilty on the attempted murder charge relating to pushing the car into the canal but could not reach a verdict in relation to the other charges.

The jury of nine men and three women today took just 43 minutes to come to their verdicts.

Following today's verdicts, Ms Justice Carmel Stewart thanked the jury for their attention to the case and exempted them from jury service for a period of five years.

After the jury left the courtroom, Mr Crosby was formally discharged by the judge.

In his evidence, Mr Boyle said that he managed to escape the boot of a car that was pushed into a canal after he was repeatedly stabbed by Mr Crosby.

Charging the jury this morning, Ms Justice Stewart said that the "real issue" in the case was whether Mr Crosby was "present and participated in the injuries" as asserted by Mr Boyle. The jury would have to evaluate "the contradictions" that were apparent in Mr Boyle's evidence, she indicated.

Defence counsel Brendan Grehan SC said at the outset of the trial that the fact Mr Boyle had suffered injuries would not be an issue in the case. "What will be disputed is Mr Boyle's assertion that Mr Crosby was responsible", he added.

In his closing speech, Mr Grehan asked the jurors if they could rely on Mr Boyle's account after he “blatantly and candidly” said that he lied and misled gardaí investigating the matter.

The barrister said there was “no phone evidence...call records or texts, no fingerprints, no CCTV of (Mr Crosby and Mr Boyle) together at any stage, no eyewitnesses who had seen them together.”

Mr Grehan submitted that the prosecution had done a fine job of showing Mr Crosby had not been home on the night, but had educed “not a shred” of evidence about whether he'd been at his aunt's house. He told the jury there was no evidence to say his client had not been at this second location.

Mr Grehan suggested that Mr Boyle could not be believed beyond a reasonable doubt and said the appropriate verdict was an acquittal.

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