Murder accused punched Daniel McAnespie shortly before he disappeared, jury hears
One of two Dublin men accused of the murder of teenager Daniel McAnespie, who was in the care of the State at the time of his death three years ago, punched the deceased in the face hours before he disappeared, a jury has heard.
Witness Gary Arnold (22) today told the Central Criminal Court jury that Daniel McAnespie got punched to the face by accused man Trevor Noone (25) and was knocked to the ground.
Mr Noone and Richard Dekker (27), both of Whitestown Avenue in Blanchardstown, have each pleaded not guilty to the murder of Daniel McAnespie (17) at Tolka Valley Park, Blanchardstown, on February 26, 2010.
Mr Arnold told counsel for the prosecution, Mr Brendan Grehan SC, that on February 25 2010, he and Daniel McAnespie were back seat passengers in a car driven by a mutual friend. He said that he and the deceased were smoking cannabis and taking valium.
Witness told Mr Grehan that sometime around midnight he and Daniel got a lift in the car to Whitestown. He agreed with Mr Grehan that he was aware Daniel McAnespie had been due to meet his care workers earlier in the evening.
Mr Arnold said that he and Daniel met another witness, Shauna Burke, on a green area and were later joined by others including the accused men Richard Dekker and Trevor Noone, who were drinking alcohol.
Asked by Mr Grehan if there was “any trouble” that night, Gary Arnold said that Daniel McAnespie got punched to the face by Trevor Noone and was knocked to the ground.
He said that by the time he approached the scene Daniel and Mr Noone were shaking hands. Mr Arnold also said that as he walked to the scene, Richard Dekker chased him briefly with a cup.
Mr Arnold told prosecution counsel that both he and Daniel McAnespie were intoxicated at the time.
He said that when he and Shauna Burke left Whitestown sometime between three and four in the morning, he asked Daniel to come with them but the deceased teenager said he wanted to stay.
Mr Arnold told Mr Grehan said that when he left Daniel McAnespie, he was in the company of Richard Dekker, Trevor Noone and another witness, Denise Kelly (19).
In her evidence to the court, Ms Kelly said she also witnessed the argument where Trevor Noone hit Daniel McAnespie.
She told Mr Grehan that the deceased fell to the ground but got back up and shook hands with Mr Noone.
Ms Kelly said that sometime after three o’clock on the morning of February 26, she let Daniel in to her house to hide from a garda patrol as the deceased told her he was under curfew.
She said that Daniel was with her and the two accused men at this time.
Ms Kelly said that she and Daniel were then put of the house by her mother, but she went back inside her house shortly after.
She agreed with counsel for Mr Noone, Mr Michael O’Higgins SC, that Daniel received a punch because of something he had said about a relative of Mr Noone, and that the deceased had apologised for what he had said.
In his opening address, Mr Grehan said the jury would hear evidence that Daniel was last seen alive on February 26th, 2010 at Whitestown Avenue in the company of the two accused.
He told the jury it is the prosecution case that both men were involved in the stabbing of Daniel with one half of a garden sheers.
Mr Grehan said both accused admitted to gardai they were present when Daniel met his death, that each accused effectively say the other killed the teenager and that each told gardai they were “just by-standers”.
The trial continues before Mr Justice Paul Butler and a jury of seven men and five women.