Monday 19 March 2018

Murder accused wept as he told his mother he choked victim, court hears

Christopher McNamara has pleaded not guilty to the murder
Christopher McNamara has pleaded not guilty to the murder

Anne Sharkey

The mother of a Limerick man accused of murdering an elderly man with a sweeping brush said he was in tears as he admitted he did it.

Christopher McNamara (21) of Good Shepherd Villas, Pennywell road in Limerick has pleaded not guilty to the murder of James Boyce (71) at St Munchins Street, St Mary’s Park in Limerick between March 6 2011 and March 7 2011.

In a statement read to the jury by Micheál O’Higgins SC, prosecuting, mother of the accused, Pauline Whelan was giving an account of the days following the death of James Boyce.

“On Sunday March 6th, I overheard Christopher on the phone to Mr Boyce telling him he would be over to fix the fire.”

“I woke at 9am the next morning and Christy rang that day to say he had a surprise for me. He had a new 42-inch television. When I asked where he got the money for it he said he had robbed two building sites.”

The statement went on to say that Christopher had said ‘who murdered Jimmy’ when he heard that a murder inquiry had begun.

“He was very stunned when he heard there was a murder inquiry. He said ‘who murdered jimmy’.”

“I told him I heard that the coffin was closed at the funeral and said ‘did you do it son’. He said ‘I did mam but I didn’t do that to the man’. He was crying.”

“I said why and he said he didn’t know why he did it. I asked him was there anyone else involved and he said no.”

“He said he choked him with the handle of a sweeping brush. He showed me with the motion of his hands pushing.”

State Pathologist Marie Therese Cassidy gave details to the jury of a post mortem she carried out on March 8th 2011 on the deceased James Boyce.

Based on her examination, Dr Cassidy came to the conclusion that James Boyce had been the victim of an assault with a long striking edge and that the fatal injuries were those on his neck.

“I confirmed that he (James Boyce) was a victim of an assault with a long striking edge.”

“He had tramline bruises to the right cheek and right side of the neck which could have been caused by six to nine blows. In this case, the brush could have caused the tramline injuries.”

“In the neck, there were multiple fractures of the larynx or adams apple and it was the injuries in the neck that were responsible for his death.”

“It is possible that there were two episodes of assault – one downstairs and one up while lying in the bed. If this was the case, there was only a short time interval between the two incidents.”

The trial continues before Mr Justice Garrett Sheehan and a jury of seven men and five women.

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