Friday 20 April 2018

Man died from single stab wound - murder trial told

Trial judge Mr Justice Patrick McCarthy
Trial judge Mr Justice Patrick McCarthy

By Alison O'Riordan

A man has gone on trial accused of murdering a 25-year-old man with a single stab wound to the chest.

Tadhg Butler, 34, of address at Seafield in Tramore, Co Waterford is charged with murdering Michael O'Dwyer at that address on 10th January, 2014.

Mr Butler, also known as Thomas O'Grady and originally from Kilkenny, has pleaded not guilty to murder at the Central Criminal Court.

In his opening today Denis Vaughan Buckley SC, prosecuting, told the jury of four men and eight women how a knife injury was found on the body of the deceased and Mr O'Dwyer was pronounced dead at Waterford Regional Hospital at 1.35am on January 10 2014.

"You will hear from gardai and ambulance men who arrived on the scene.

"You will hear evidence that the State Pathologist carried out a post mortem on the body of Michael O'Dwyer at the Regional Hospital in Waterford on January 10 2014 which showed a single stab wound to the front left side of his chest," said Mr Vaughan Buckley.

Mr Vaughan Buckley told the jury there was no evidence of any defensive type injuries on the arms or hands of the deceased and a major garda investigation commenced on January 11 2014.

The court also heard from the prosecuting counsel how on January 10 2014, Mr Butler was arrested on suspicion of assault causing harm to Mr O'Dwyer and he was brought by the gardai to Tramore Garda Station.

"You will hear evidence from the member in charge at Tramore Garda Station and you will hear evidence how he was interviewed twice there," added Mr Vaughan Buckley.

"I submit on the evidence you hear that there will be more than ample evidence that the accused is guilty of murder and you will come to a conclusion beyond reasonable doubt," concluded Mr Vaughan Buckley.

Luke Green (23) from Kilkenny, one of the four men present at the scene on the night, was then called to give evidence by Noel Whelan BL, prosecuting counsel for the State.

The court heard from Mr Green how he and two friends, the deceased Michael O'Dwyer and another friend Tony O'Grady got a taxi from Kilkenny to the accused's house in Tramore on the evening of January 9 2014 which took 40 minutes.

Mr Whelan put it to Mr Green that Tadhg Butler is the uncle of Tony O'Grady which Mr Green agreed with.

The court heard from Mr Green that the four men drank cans and placed an order with a delivery service for more beer and a bottle of Captain Morgan's when they ran out of alcohol later in the evening.

"How was the humour?" Mr Whelan put it to Mr Green

"All good, we would have been drunk," replied Mr Green.

The court heard that Mr Green was later sitting on the couch beside his friend Tony O'Grady and dozed off but he was woken by shouting from Tony saying "help or ring an ambulance."

Mr Whelan put it to Mr Green that Tony O'Grady had Michael O'Dwyer outside the house when the guards arrived?

“Michael was lying on the ground, stabbed and Tony was helping him,”said Mr Green.

The court then heard that Tony O'Grady was on the phone to the ambulance before Luke Green took the phone off him and the men were instructed to lift up Michael's head and put pressure on his wound which was to the left hand side of his chest.

"Where was Thomas?" asked Mr Whelan.

"I'm not sure he was in the house I think," said Mr Green.

Mr Whelan then put it to Mr Green that when he went outside Tony told him Michael had been stabbed?

"When I went outside I saw blood. Tony said he was stabbed, pointing to where the wound was on Michael," replied Mr Green.

The court then heard from the time Mr Green woke up on the couch he didn't speak to Thomas O'Grady.

"When you were on the ground helping Michael, you cant remember Thomas being with you outside the house?" Mr Whelan put it to the witness.

"Yes" replied Mr Green.

The trial continues before Mr Justice Patrick McCarthy and is expected to last between two to three weeks.

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