Monday 20 November 2017

Plastic bag held over man's face for 20 minutes, murder trial told

Kenneth Cummins
Kenneth Cummins
Sabrina Cummins

Alison O'Riordan

A 63-year-old man had a plastic bag placed over his head for 20 minutes during a robbery, one of two siblings who are on trial for murder told gardaí.

Kenneth Cummins (28) and Sabrina Cummins (37), with an address at Ringsend Park, Dublin 4, have both pleaded not guilty to murdering Thomas Horan (63) at Cambridge Court, Ringsend on January 6 last year.

Prosecution counsel Remy Farrell SC yesterday continued reading from a statement given by Kenneth Cummins at Irishtown garda station on January 9, 2014.

The court earlier this week heard that Mr Cummins struck the deceased with a stick three or four times.

Mr Farrell also read that Mr Cummins told gardaí that Sabrina Cummins said she was going to finish the job - so she poisoned the man with a bottle of white spirits, toilet cleaner and washing-up liquid.

Yesterday, the jury heard in the statement given by Mr Cummins that he and his sister Sabrina had planned to leave Ireland for London in an attempt to avoid gardaí.

The court heard that Kenneth Cummins told gardaí it was his sister's idea to go to London on a ferry from Dún Laoghaire.

Gardaí then put it to Kenneth Cummins that "it was quite clear" that both of the accused had "planned an escape" but were then arrested.

Mr Farrell also read that Mr Cummins told gardaí they used a plastic bag from the house during the attack. The court heard this was used before Mr Horan was strangled with a belt.

"It's a clear plastic bag and was fully ripped open already. The two of us held it over him, I had one side and she had the other when he was on the bed. It was my idea to use it.

"I found it beside the bed or on it. We had it over his face for 20 minutes," read Mr Farrell.

The barrister then read that Kenneth Cummins told gardaí the deceased could not breathe.

"I could see the bag moving in or out. I pulled the bag tight, he was swinging his arms. My sister was holding his arms. I was putting everything into it," he read.

During the afternoon session, Detective Garda Brian Hunt was under cross-examination by Mr Giollaíosa Ó Lideadha SC for Kenneth Cummins.

The defence counsel read from several of the statements given by his client to Det Garda Hunt at Irishtown garda station on January 8 and 9, 2014.

The court had previously heard that Sabrina and Kenneth Cummins went to Mr Horan's bedsit on the night to rob him of €2,000.

Gardaí asked Mr Cummins was he prepared to kill for the €2,000, to which the co-accused replied that he was not. "I wasn't. I wasn't expecting it to go that far just for that €2,000.

"I was expecting to get it (the money) there and then and just go. She (Sabrina) goes her way and I go my way. I wasn't expecting it to go to that length.

"My intention was just to get the money and go," replied Mr Cummins.

Gardaí then asked Kenneth Cummins was he prepared to use violence to get the money?

"Yes, I suppose so," replied Mr Cummins.

"You went back there a second time to do whatever it took to get that money, you weren't leaving without it?" the gardaí put it to Mr Cummins.


"Exactly, yes," replied Mr Cummins.

Gardaí then asked Mr Cummins if his "sole intention" in going back to Mr Horan's house a second time was to "rob him of this money".

Mr Cummins replied that it was and that when he could not find the money he became "a bit angry and pissed off".

Gardaí asked Mr Cummins did he think that if he gave Mr Horan "a bit of a hiding" he would tell him where the money was?

"Yes" replied Mr Cummins.

The trial continues.

Irish Independent

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