Tuesday 12 December 2017

Man fatally stabbed because he was 'sleeping in my bed'- court hears

Trevor Corr arrives at Tallaght District court. Inset: James Humphries
Trevor Corr arrives at Tallaght District court. Inset: James Humphries

A JOBLESS man admitted stabbing a father-of-one to death because the victim was "sleeping in his bed", it has been alleged.

Tallaght District Court heard that Trevor Corr (37) is alleged to have fatally wounded James Humphries at the accused's home on Sunday.

The prosecuting garda in the manslaughter case alleged that Corr admitted he had been on a drugs and alcohol "bender" when he killed Mr Humphries.

Judge Anthony Halpin granted bail under 13 of the "strictest conditions" and adjourned the case for a week. Judge Halpin also commented that knife crime was now a daily feature of the District Courts and called for greater search powers for gardai and increased penalties for offenders to be considered.

Gardai had objected to bail and Defence Solicitor, Padraig O'Donovan said Corr would be contesting the admissions the accused is alleged to have made.

The defendant was remanded in custody until he is in a position to take up bail.

Corr, of Kiltalown Way, Tallaght, is charged with the unlawful killing of Mr Humphries (32) at that address, contrary to Common Law on September 22 last.

Detective Garda David Jennings said he arrested the defendant at 12.05am this morning at Tallaght Garda Station and was present when he was charged at 12.45am.

Corr had nothing to say to the charge after caution and was handed a copy of the charge sheet.

Det Gda David Jennings objected to bail on the grounds of the nature and seriousness of the charge and his belief that the accused was a flight risk.

He added that there was a possibility that a further, more serious charge would follow.

The maximum penalty for manslaughter on conviction was life in prison, he said.

Outlining the allegations, he said a call was made to Dublin Fire Brigade at 6.30pm on Sunday evening in relation to a stabbing at the accused's residence.

At the scene, ambulance crew found Mr Humphries lying on the ground outside the front door, going "in and out of consciousness".

Efforts were made to save his life and he was taken to Tallaght Hospital but pronounced dead a short time later.

It was alleged that Corr made voluntary admissions "that he stabbed the deceased because he was asleep in his bed". Det Gda Jennings said.

Det Garda Jennings claimed the accused repeated the admission while in custody.

He went on to say there was an 11-minute recording of the 999 call to Dublin Fire Brigade in which the accused is "heard saying he stabbed the deceased because he was in his bed".

The detective also alleged a knife with blood on it was found where the accused said he had left it.

The scene of the crime was the bed where Mr Humphries was stabbed, Det Gda Jennings said. The deceased is from the Glenshane area of Tallaght.

Det Gda Jennings alleged that the accused was an alcoholic who also took cocaine, speed and Diazepam, was on all of these at the time and had been on a "bender since last week".

"Gardai believe (Corr) may abscond from the jurisdiction and not stand trial", Det Gda Jennings said.

Applying for bail, Mr O'Donovan said his client would be "challenging all the admissions" he was alleged to have made.

He had been living at his current home since last April and two members of his family were in court to support him.

Judge Halpin said while he did not doubt the seriousness of the charge, he did not feel that the garda objections had met the "threshold" required for him to refuse bail.

He remanded the accused in custody with consent to bail, to appear in Cloverhill District Court on October 1.

Bail was set in Corr's own cash lodgement of €1,000 and two independent sureties of €3,000 and €1,500.

Under the conditions, he is to live at his brother's address at Killinarden Estate and nobody is allowed access to that house other than those who ordinarily reside there.

Corr must also observe a curfew, refrain from all illicit drugs, surrender his passport and undertake not to apply for another.

He must not leave the Dublin area and notify gardai immediately in the event of any problems arising with the conditions.

Garda Jennings said he needed 24 hours notice to "check out" any sureties.

Mr O'Donovan said it would be "quite difficult" for Corr to come up with the sureties but Judge Halpin said he had "agonised" over whether to grant bail and he believed the terms were in the public interest.

The defendant, wearing a blue and white striped t-shirt did not address the court during the hearing.

After making his decision, Judge Halpin said: "Every single day before the District Court, knife crime is a feature ranging from simple possession to stabbings".

He added: "The legislature might consider increasing the powers of the gardai to search and increase the penalties on conviction".

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