Monday 19 March 2018

Murder accused told gardai he stabbed man who was lying in his bed, jury hears

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

Alison O'Riordan

A Dublin man on trial accused of murder told gardai that he stabbed a man who was lying in his bed, a Central Criminal Court jury has heard.

Trevor Corr (39) has pleaded not guilty to murder but guilty to the manslaughter of James Humphries (32) at Kiltalown Way in Tallaght on September 22nd, 2013.

Opening the trial today counsel for the State Mr Denis Vaughan Buckley SC told the jury of five women and seven men that on the night, paramedic Mr Brian Murphy received an emergency call from a man working at a Chinese restaurant.

The court heard the restaurant was across the road from the accused man's home in west Dublin.

"This gentleman who worked in the Chinese restaurant across the road from the scene, went to the assistance of the deceased," said counsel.

Counsel said that the proposed evidence of Mr Murphy was that he spoke to a man on the phone who told him that a man had been stabbed and "the man who done it was still there."

"He (Mr Brian Murphy) heard a different man in the background say fuck off and 'I walked into the bedroom and I stabbed him in the bed.'  It is our contention that the person who said that was the accused," said the barrister.

Counsel said gardai arrived at the scene at 6.35pm on September 22 2013 where the accused was asked his name and "he replied Trevor Corr."

"Mr Corr was asked what happened and he replied saying "would you not stab him if he was lying in your bed,"" said counsel.

The court heard when the accused was asked what happened again, he replied saying "I stabbed him, he was in my bed."

Mr Vaughan Buckley said the jury will hear evidence that when the accused was asked where the incident had occurred, he pointed down the hall of the house which led to a bedroom.

Counsel said that gardai asked the accused where was the knife was and he replied: "In my bedroom".

The court heard the accused was then arrested and brought to Tallaght garda station where he was detained by a member in charge.

"It will appear in evidence that the deceased was injured inside the bedroom of the house and he managed to make it from the bedroom to the front garden of the house where he collapsed," said counsel.

Counsel said Chief State Pathologist Professor Marie Cassidy who carried out the post mortem of the deceased at the mortuary of Tallaght Hospital on September 23 2013 will give evidence.

"The cause of death was a single stab wound to the upper chest just below the right collar bone. This injury would not have caused instant or immediate death and the injury was likely caused by a knife with a sharp blade," said counsel.

Counsel said the jury will hear from a number of forensic scientists who will give evidence that the tracksuit bottoms belonging to the accused had "heavy bloodstains on the front and back."

"The DNA profile generated from the tracksuit bottoms and the sole of the right runner of Mr Corr matched that of James Humphries," said counsel.

The court heard forensic scientists were given a number of knives to examine for the presence of blood.

"One of them had a blood stain on the blade and handle. The blood of James Humphries was on the blade and the blood of Trevor Corr was on the handle. You will be satisfied that was the knife used to cause injury to the deceased and was found in the bedroom," said counsel.

The court heard there were bloodstains on the floor of the bedroom and the door leading into the bedroom had blood splatter on the bottom of it.

Counsel said there had also been "considerable consumption of alcohol and cigarettes" on the night.

Today Dr Arthur Hennessey, a registered medical practitioner practising in Tallaght Hospital was called to give evidence.

He told the court a male who was identified as James Humphries arrived to the hospital in cardiac arrest with a wound to his upper right chest.

The court heard prior to the arrival of the ambulance at 18.36, CPR was done on the deceased by paramedics.

The death of Mr Humphries was pronounced at 19.08 that day.

The second witness of the day called to give evidence was Mr Jason Hart who was working at the Chinese take away in Tallaght on September 22 2013.

The court heard Mr Hart was doing security at the restaurant and he was also "a delivery man."

Mr Vaughan Buckley asked the witness if he was in the kitchen of the take away at 6.40pm when he heard "someone shouting outside the Chinese" which he agreed with.

Mr Hart said he went outside the shop but could not see anyone.

However he agreed with counsel that when he looked across the road, he saw a man slumped up against the front of the house.

The court heard he went "straight across to the garden of the house" and saw "blood seeping out through his t-shirt."

Mr Hart agreed with counsel that he dialled 999 asking for an ambulance and told the ambulance controller there was a man stabbed and had blood all over him.

The court heard the accused got a blanket and then a duvet from the house.

Mr Hart said he knew Mr Corr from living in the area and at the time he stood in the open doorway of the house.

In cross examination by Mr Dean Kelly BL for the accused, Mr Hart agreed with counsel that the conduct of Mr Corr on the night was "frantic to say the least."

The trial continues at 2pm on Monday.

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