Sunday 15 September 2019

Murder accused told woman 'he cut off partner's genitals', trial told

Barbara Staunton leaving court. Photo: Courtpix
Barbara Staunton leaving court. Photo: Courtpix

Aoife Nic Ardghail

The partner of a man whose body was found wrapped in a duvet days after his death has told a murder trial jury that the accused said he had cut off the deceased's penis.

Giving evidence at trial yesterday, Barbara Staunton revealed she heard Anthony Locke (38) say he had cut off her partner Christopher Jackson's penis and put it into the deceased's pocket.

Ms Staunton, who admitted she had been smoking heroin that night, said Mr Locke asked her: “What are you doing with someone with such a little penis?”

Mr Locke, with an address at Ramillies Road, Ballyfermot has pleaded not guilty at the Central Criminal Court to murdering Mr Jackson at his apartment on Prussia Street, Dublin 7, between September 6th and 7th, 2012.

In cross examination, Ms Staunton agreed with Mr Padraig Dwyer SC, defending, that she initially said she'd seen the accused with her partner's penis in his hand.

When asked her reason for saying this, she replied: “I thought I did (see it) for a moment, but then I remembered I didn't.”

Ms Staunton confirmed she had drug problems at the time and had consumed heroin, cannabis, alcohol and possibly Valium on the evening.

She agreed when counsel put it to her that this would have affected her memory, perception of time and distance and the content of conversations.

Earlier, she described how her partner had fallen back into the flat with a knife sticking out of his heart after answering the door to the accused and Bernard Locke.

She told Mr Conor Devally SC, prosecuting, that Mr Jackson informed the two men that they couldn't come in as he was heading to bed.

She said she next heard one of the men ask: “Where's my hash?”, before her partner fell back in with the knife in his chest.

Ms Staunton said Bernard Locke brought her partner into the kitchen and after a few minutes emerged, telling Anthony Locke to “finish him off.”

She told the court one of the men said: "Remember the Scissor Sisters? We can be the Scissor Brothers."

She said Bernard Locke's hand had been “severely cut” and that he'd ordered her to clean it up while his brother was in the kitchen with the deceased.

She said Bernard Locke then began helping the accused, who was “cleaning up” in the kitchen using black bags.

She described being brought between Mr Jackson's and the upstairs flat several times, making a number of trips to Tesco for alcohol the next day and visiting her son to smoke heroin.

Ms Staunton said she had been too terrified to mention what had happened to anyone, as Bernard Locke had insinuated her son would be “got”.

She told her son that she had had a falling out with Mr Jackson and that he hadn't returned.

She said she was told to “act normal” when her sister and a group of friends called around to have drinks in the back yard the evening after the alleged murder.

Ms Staunton said Anthony Locke remained upstairs with his female cousin while the group was in the yard and made repeated knife across his neck gestures when she looked up at his window.

The witness said she stayed at her neighbour's flat that night as her sister wanted to stay on the deceased's premises.

She said she called her son the following day as she had started withdrawing from heroin.

Ms Staunton said about 30 gardai came into her flat a while later and she told them Mr Jackson's body was in the wardrobe, as her dog kept sniffing in that area.

She told Mr Dywer under cross examination that she hadn't told her son about what had happened when he came to the house as she didn't wish to implicate him in anything.

She denied that she wanted the body to be left undiscovered and further refuted that she had been “well up for” Bernard Locke's idea of them being a couple.

Ms Staunton told Mr Dwyer that Bernard Locke had said he had served time in jail for “murdering” someone.

The trial continues with Ms Staunton's cross examination before Mr Justice Patrick McCarthy and a jury of six men and six women.

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