Thursday 14 December 2017

Man tells court he did not stab Irishman to death

Dermot O'Toole
Dermot O'Toole

Norrie Ross

A MAN accused of the murder of Galway-born Dermot O’Toole during a botched armed robbery claims to have an alibi, a court in Melbourne heard today.

During the procedural hearing Magistrate Charlie Rozencwajg was told that Gavin Perry, 26, would say he was in the company of a friend at the time Mr O’Toole was stabbed to death in front of his wife in their jewellery shop.

Mr Rozencwajg was also told that forensic tests are being carried out on fingerprints found on packaging of the murder weapon, a knife which had been stolen from a supermarket.

These tests will determine if the fingerprints are those of Mr Perry, a prosecutor told Melbourne Magistrates’ Court. DNA testing is still to be completed on samples found in a laneway where Mr O’Toole’s killer stumbled as he made his getaway from the crime scene.

Mr O’Toole was fatally stabbed as he tried to protect his wife Bridget during the robbery at The Jewel Shed, at Hastings, on the Mornington Peninsula, Victoria on July 12 this year.

Mr O’Toole died at the scene but his wife, who was also stabbed, survived the attack. The killer made off with stock worth just $200.

Mr Perry, of Crib Point, is charged with murdering Mr O’Toole, 64 and is also accused of intentionally causing serious injury to Mrs O'Toole and armed robbery.

Just as the case was called, Mrs O’Toole, 63, who was supported by her sons, got up and left the court room, unable to face the man accused of killing her husband.

Mr Perry sat in the prisoner’s dock wearing a green sweat shirt and track pants and unlike a previous court appearance he made no attempt to hide his face from the media.

Mr Rozencwajg called through a list of witnesses who will appear at a pre-trial committal hearing and noted that a person who knows Mr Perry would say saw him outside the store on the day of the robbery. The magistrate heard there will be cross-examination of witnesses who say they saw a man run into a car park and make off in a vehicle.

There is also CCTV footage from inside the shop which will be played at the committal.

Mr Perry was remanded in custody to appear at a two-day committal hearing in the Melbourne Magistrates’ Court on March 24 next year.

At a previous hearing Prosecutor Patrick O’Halloran said the accused was seen by five people at the shop at the time of the armed robbery.

He said a second set of witnesses would also put Mr Perry in the area, and that the accused man’s image was also captured by CCTV cameras at the jewellery store and at a nearby supermarket.

Irish Independent

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