Saturday 24 March 2018

Murder accused 'seen with knife' before stabbing, courts hears

Victim Gerard Burnett
Victim Gerard Burnett

The trial of a man accused of murdering a father-of-one has heard that the accused was seen with a knife before the stabbing took place.

Andrew Gibney (21) of Drumheath Avenue, Mulhuddart has pleaded not guilty to murdering Gerard Burnett (28) at Castlecurragh Vale, Mulhuddart on August 21, 2012.

A statement of Lee Dalton, who was drinking with the group of five men involved in the incident on the night in question, was read to the court by Mr Tom O’Connell SC prosecuting.

In the statement Mr Dalton said that a group of males were drinking in Mr Gibney’s home and they decided to go up Mr Burnett’s house as he sold alcohol.

He said in his statement Mr Gibney took a knife with a silver blade with a silver handle to use if Mr Burnett “got smart”.

“I really didn’t want to go with them, I knew there was going to be trouble,” Mr Dalton said in the statement.

Mr Dalton said he went home and his mother would not let him leave the house.

He said he woke up at midday the next day and heard that Mr Burnett had been stabbed.

Mr Dalton said in his statement Mr Gibney denied any involvement in the stabbing of Mr Burnett.

He said Mr Gibney told him “he had no bad feelings towards Gerard Burnett”.

Under cross-examination Detective Garda Tom Cooney agreed with Mr Giollaiosa O Lideadha SC defending that all the men were getting drunk that night as vodka and whiskey was consumed and that Mr Burnett sold alcohol after hours.

He further agreed that during the course of interviews Mr Dalton said the knife he had seen had a thick silver blade and a silver handle.

Det Gda Cooney agreed with Mr O’Connell that Mr Dalton was shown four knives and said he had never seen two of them.

He also agreed that Mr Dalton said of one of the knives looked “like the knife in Andrew’s kitchen.”

The court head Mr Gibney voluntarily told gardai on August 28, 2012 he was involved in the incident.

‘I was involved in the incident, the chap is dead now and I need to give him peace,’ Mr Gibney told gardai.

Detective Garda Patrick Traynor told the court he immediately cautioned Mr Gibney who said “I used the knife on Gerard Burnett…three times in his side.”

Mr Gibney was arrested and when cautioned he made no reply then a series of interviews commenced.

“I was drunk, I shouldn’t have done what I done. I stabbed him three times,” Mr Gibney told gardai.

He said it was a “stupid drunk night” that he ran home afterwards and washed the knife with boiling water in the kitchen sink and later in the dishwasher.

He also said Mr Burnett had stabbed him in the shoulder four years previously but they had since made amends.

The court was told Mr Gibney has no previous convictions and has been in custody since the incident but did not apply for bail as he continues to be remorseful.

The trial continues.

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