Sunday 22 April 2018

Murder accused was to get €74,000 from mother’s will, court hears

Niamh O’Donoghue

A Polish national accused of murdering a Romanian man by stabbing him to death in Co. Cavan told gardai he was receiving €74,000 from his mother’s will, the Central Criminal Court has heard.

Przemyslaw Trebacz (35) of Bramble Rise, Killynebber, Cavan has pleaded not guilty to the murder of Costel Catalin Cretu (38) at Connolly Court, Connolly Street, Cavan between October 13 and 14, 2012.

Mr Trebacz has pleaded guilty to criminal damage to a door belonging to Brendan Cosgrove at Connolly Court on October 13, 2012.

The court has heard that Mr Cretu was guarding two prostitutes in the apartment at the time the incident took place.

The accused previously told gardai he stabbed Mr Cretu but said he did it in self-defence. Mr Trebacz said Mr Cretu was still standing after he left the apartment and denied bringing a knife with him to the scene.

The court heard today that the accused denied stealing money from one of the prostitutes and said he had a letter from his solicitor saying he was getting an apartment with €74,000 from his mother’s will.

Detective Garda Ursula Cummins of the ballistics section in Garda Headquarters told the court that she attended the scene of the fatal stabbing to collect exhibits.

She said a 13-inch was taken from the kitchen drawer and a seven-inch knife was taken from the kitchen sink.

Det Gda Cummins said it was her opinion that a reasonable amount of force was used to gain entry to the apartment.

Building Contractor Rodney Brady told Mr Paul Greene SC defending that he assisted in the letting of the apartment as well as a number of others in Connolly Court.

He said that Romanian nationals who rented the apartments were quite particular and wanted new locks on the doors.

Mr Brady said that as well as a lease an inventory was drawn up for each apartment he rented in which there was a reference to spoons, knives and forks.

He said that there was a set of knives in the apartment with four or five in a block of differing lengths.

The court heard forensic scientist Sandra McGrath examined two knives from the apartment and said they were either not used to stab Mr Cretu or they were used but no blood transferred to them.

The court also heard that both knives were tested for fingerprints but the results were negative.

Mr Patrick McGrath SC prosecuting told the court a direction to charge the accused was given on January 17, 2013.

Previously State Pathologist Professor Marie Cassidy told the court that the deceased had two stab wounds.

She said there was one wound to the chest, which was fatal as it penetrated the heart and lung causing blood loss and a shallow wound to the back.

Prof Cassidy there was a possibility of two assailants and that he would have collapsed and died fairly swiftly.

She said the larger of two knives shown to the court or something similar could have caused the injuries.

Prof Cassidy said that the bigger knife was shown to her on December 3 this year and the force needed to penetrate the body was “mild to moderate”.

The trial continues.

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