Thursday 22 February 2018

Murder accused showed woman baseball bat which he had to 'protect himself' - trial hears

Alison O'Riordan

A woman has told a murder trial jury that one of the accused showed her a baseball bat which he said he had to “protect himself”.

The Central Criminal Court heard on Monday that the deceased Thomas ‘Toddy’ Dooley (64) was found in the living room of his home in Edenderry, Co Offaly on February 16, 2014. He had died from injuries to his upper body and head.

Matthew Cummins (22) of Churchview Heights, Edenderry, Co Offaly, Sean Davy (21) of Clonmullen Drive, Edenderry, Co Offaly and James Davy (25) of Thornhill Meadows, Celbridge, Co Kildare are charged with murdering Thomas Dooley (64) at Sister Senan Court in Edenderry, Co Offaly on February 12, 2014.

Yesterday at the Central Criminal Court, the three men pleaded not guilty to the charge.

on Tuesday Counsel for the State, Mr Patrick Treacy SC called Ms April Murray, who lived in The Sycamores in Edenderry, Co Offaly in February 2011, to give evidence.

The mother-of-five told the court that she had been out for her friend’s birthday before she arrived at Mangan’s pub in Edenderry with her friend, her second eldest daughter Courtleigh Maloney and Courtleigh’s friend at 8pm on February 11.

She told the court she saw James Davy, Sean Davy and Jade Mooney in there.

"We would have started talking but I can’t remember as I was very drunk at the time,” said Ms Murray.

At around 9.30pm that night April Murray got a taxi back to her house with her daughter Courtleigh, her daughter’s friend, James Davy, Sean Davy and Jade Mooney in order to continue drinking.

Ms Murray told the court that her daughter’s friend was dropped home en route to The Sycamores and the taxi also stopped at an off-licence where James and Sean Davy bought two boxes of Miller beer.

April Murray told the court that they all sat in the kitchen drinking beer before James Davy produced a bag of cocaine.

James Davy had a key and he proceeded to snort cocaine off the key.

April Murray also “took a line (of cocaine) off the key.”

Later in the night April Murray took a second “line of cocaine” off the key.

The witness told the court that Matthew Cummins joined the party at around 11pm that night.

Ms Murray then fell asleep on a two seater couch in her kitchen but went to her own bed later on.

“I recall waking up the following morning at 8.30am. I went downstairs and Jade Mooney was still asleep on the couch. When I walked into the sitting room most of the mirror over the fireplace was covered in white cream. The sitting room was wrecked and toys were ripped. The kitchen curtains were black and it looked like someone had tried to burn them up in flames. Some of them had holes in the middle of them,” she said.

April Murray told the court that one of the light shades in the kitchen had attempted burn marks on it as well. The ceiling in the sitting room was black and the television was scraped.

“My laptop was smashed up and the leather couch in the sitting room was ripped in sections with knife marks going down it,” she said.

Some of the doors were pulled off the presses and there were “tiny, little dots” of “blood marks on the ceiling in the kitchen.”

Jade Mooney then woke up and left the house.

The court heard that the three accused men had never been at a party in April Murray’s house before this night.

After lunch April Murray told the court that there was a “light brown” wooden baseball bat in her kitchen on the night.

“I was holding the bat, it was smaller at the bottom and wider at the top. There was a few marks on it as if it had been used, it wasn’t a brand new one. After I held the bat and left it on the table. I never saw it again,” she said.

The prosecution then called Courtleigh Maloney to give evidence.

The 18-year-old told the court that Sean and James Davy left a baseball bat and a jacket in the back of the seven seater taxi after it left Mangan’s pub and dropped them off at her mother’s house.

Courtleigh Maloney told the court that James Davy had the baseball bat in Mangan’s pub and he brought it into the taxi.

The court heard that the taxi had to return to her mother’s house as the baseball bat and jacket had been left behind in it.

The witness told the court that she woke up during the night as there was “banging noises” coming from downstairs at around 5am.

She went downstairs and looked into sitting room and saw “white stuff on the mirror” in the sitting room.

“I was looking into the kitchen and I could see them at the presses. I said to them to get the fuck out and they walked out. I felt terrified,” she said.

Prosecution counsel then called Ms Jade Mooney to give evidence and she told the court she was a friend of James Davy and she had made an arrangement to meet him in Mangan’s pub on February 11.

The court heard that James Davy told her he had a baseball bat with him in Mangan’s pub on February 11.

When she didn’t believe him, he lifted up his black jacket which had a yellow logo on it and showed her.

“The bat was light brown and made of wood. It (the jacket) covered the bat completely. I saw the bat fully,” she said.

The court heard James Davy told her he had a bat “to protect himself."

At the party in April Murray’s house, Jade Mooney saw the bat on the kitchen table but did not hold it.

She recalled that James Davy had his hand on the bat at one point during the night.

In cross examination defence counsel, Mr Padraic Dwyer SC for James Davy asked Ms Mooney if he had mentioned to her that he was assaulted in Edenderry previously.

“He might have told me before that night,” she said.

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