Thursday 18 January 2018

Teenager denies friends videoed initial altercation, murder trial of Toyosi (15) hears

Accused Michael Barry and, right, Toyosi Shittabey
Accused Michael Barry and, right, Toyosi Shittabey

Nicola Donnelly

A YOUNG man has denied that he and his friends videoed the initial altercation between them and two men prior to the stabbing of a 15-year-old Nigerian boy, a jury at the Central Criminal Court has heard.

Bobby Kuti (18) agreed with defence counsel Mr Patrick Gageby, SC, in the trial of a 26-year-old man accused of murdering Toyosi Shittabey (15) that it is common among young people to take photos and videos of different incidents and upload them onto the internet.

“It does happen but I don't think any of us did video the row. I don't remember any of us discussing that,” said Bobby.

Bobby also denied he was the aggressor of the group of five black boys and five white girls who became involved in an altercation between Michael and Paul Barry outside Paul's house at Mount Garrett in Tyrrelstown.

It was day three of the trial of Michael Barry (26) of Pigeon House Road, Ringsend in Dublin 4 who has pleaded not guilty to the murder of Nigerian teenager Toyosi Shittabey (15) on April 2, 2010 at The Boulevard, Mount Eustace in Tyrrelstown, Dublin 15. Mr Barry has also pleaded not guilty of producing a baseball bat in the course of a dispute. It is the prosecution's case that Michael's brother Paul, who is now deceased, inflicted the stab wound on Toyosi but that Michael was an accessory to the murder.

Under cross-examining by defence counsel Bobby agreed that he was aware gardai had asked the group of friends to surrender their mobile phones following the stabbing of Toyosi Shittabey.

Bobby said gardai never asked him personally for his mobile phone but that they had asked him if any videos of the first altercation between his group of friends and Michael and Paul Barry had been taken.

“I told them no, it wasn't videoed,” said Bobby.

Mr Gageby put it to Bobby that he had originally said he did not have his mobile phone with him on the night of the stabbing but that he had phoned one of his friends at around 8.18pm, shortly after Toyosi had been stabbed.

“If I did have a phone, I don't remember what happened to it.When I heard about my friend Toyosi I could have done something with the phone. I could have broken it because of the news I had heard,” said Bobby.

He said he would not have hid the phone as he was helping gardai with their enquiries into what had happened to his friend.

He agreed with Mr Gageby that he is “unlucky with phones” and agreed that he is before the courts on separate charges of handling stolen goods in relation to a scam involving stolen and forged credit cards and a mobile phone.

He told defence counsel he did not recollect telling Michael and Paul Barry “if you f**k with me, you f**k with my boys” before hitting Paul Barry in the face with his fist.

He agreed with Mr Gageby that he and his friends were “laughing” after the first altercation when they ran away from the scene after Michael Barry produced a baseball bat, as they “thought it was all over and didn't have to worry anymore.”

“Yeah, it was a relief when we got away. We weren't joking about it though. Maybe we could have been laughing. We were kids at the time and we thought the row was all over then,” said Bobby.

He denied they were laughing afterwards because they had beaten up two men and said “we didn't beat up the two men. We were 16 and they were bigger than us. You are putting it that we attacked the two men. I don't think anything we did would have shaken them up,” said Bobby, despite Mr Gageby putting it to him that the two men at one stage were on the ground being “kicked and punched” by five teenagers.

A second witness has told the trial that he and the four other black males all hit both Paul and Michael Barry outside the house in Mount Garrett.

Gracia Lulendo (18) admitted to prosecuting counsel Mr Brendan Grehan, SC, that all five male teenagers joined in with the altercation.

He said during the altercation a woman came out of the house and shouted “Niggers, get away from him” in relation to Paul Barry who was on the ground being punched by the group of male teenagers.

“The taller guy (Michael) told her to get a baseball bat and she let the dog out and the smaller guy (Paul) said get a knife. Paul then went to the jeep and pretended he had a knife and put his hand behind his back. We ran away then,” said Gracia.

He described when they got to the roundabout at The Boulevard they saw a black jeep coming towards them.

“A short guy got out of the passenger side and ran towards us with a black, kitchen knife with a silver blade,” said Gracia.

“He was holding it in his right hand with the blade pointing backwards and then held it up to me shouting “Come on you nigger”,” he said.

Gracia said he started to move backwards as he became afraid and picked up a branch from the ground to protect himself. He described that because he was in shock he could not get away as the shorter guy was coming closer to him. He said Toyosi realised he was in trouble and Toyosi ran towards the man with the knife and jumped on him to try and hit him.

“The fella turned around and got Toyosi in the chest,” recalled Gracia. “He then took the knife out of Toyosi's chest and started to smile and laugh before he got back into the jeep.”

He said Toyosi was running, holding his chest saying “he stabbed me” and fell to the ground.

He told Mr Grehan the man driving the jeep and the man who stabbed Toyosi “were the same two men we had been fighting with earlier.”

The trial continues before Mr Justice Barry White and a jury of seven men and five women.

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