Sunday 18 March 2018

Teen found guilty of murdering German student

Thomas Heinrich
Thomas Heinrich

Ruaidhri Giblin

A TEENAGER has been convicted of murdering a German student and injuring another in Dublin.

Thomas Heinrich (22) and Robert Rinker (23) were stabbed on St Anthony's Road in Rialto on December 1, 2012. Mr Rinker, who is now 25, survived but Mr Heinrich died.

The 17-year-old, who cannot be named, had pleaded not guilty at the Central Criminal Court to murdering Mr Heinrich and to assault causing harm to Mr Rinker. But the jury found him guilty of both charges by unanimous decision yesterday.

Wesley Kelly (20), of St Anthony's Road, had also denied both charges but was found guilty of assault causing harm to Mr Rinker by a majority verdict.

The jury has not yet reached a decision on the murder charge against Kelly.

The 17-year-old said he was walking past the apartments when someone had thrown a can of beer at him. The court heard he went to get Kelly, telling him he had been attacked. The accused both told gardai in interviews that they were acting in self-defence.

Mr Rinker gave evidence that he met Mr Heinrich on his first day at Griffith College, Dublin.

He said that they and two other German students went to Mr Heinrich's apartment around 4am on December 1.

They heard two boys on the street shouting and he said he would go downstairs to "handle them". He said they were back upstairs later when Mr Heinrich told him the two people were back. The taller one had a knife.

Mr Rinker said that he then got two knives and went downstairs to scare the boys. He said he went back inside but the two boys followed him – he dropped his two knives and attacked the one holding the knife.

He said he managed to drag this person outside and the shorter boy followed, while Mr Heinrich remained inside. He said that he fought with the taller boy on the ground, while the smaller boy was behind him.

"After the fight, I felt pain in my left shoulder and rib area," he said. "Thomas opened the door for me and I ran in," he added. "Thomas was trying to push the door closed but they were pushing from the other side."

Mr Rinker went back upstairs where he noticed some of his stab wounds. Mr Heinrich then arrived, clutching his stomach.

He agreed with Aileen Donnelly, defending Kelly, that it was her client to whom he referred as the taller one. He also agreed that Kelly did not have a knife when he punched him on the ground. The jury will continue its deliberations today.

Irish Independent

Today's news headlines, directly to your inbox every morning.

Editor's Choice

Also in Irish News