Sunday 18 March 2018

Teenager pleads not guilty to murdering man in stairwell of apartment complex

Murder accused Graham McEvoy (left) and victim Paul Curran (right)
Murder accused Graham McEvoy (left) and victim Paul Curran (right)

Eoin Reynolds

A teenager has pleaded not guilty to murder but guilty to the manslaughter of a man who suffered a fatal wound in the stairwell of a Dublin flats complex.

Graham McEvoy (19) of Captain's Road in Crumlin is charged with the murder of Paul Curran (23) at Seagull House on Crumlin Road in Dublin on July 16, 2016.

Conor Devally SC for the prosecution said the accused's plea was not accepted and his trial at the Central Criminal Court began this morning.

Outlining the prosecution's case to the jury of six men and six women, Mr Devally said that on July 16, 2016 at Seagull House, which is also known as Rutland Avenue Flats, Mr McEvoy made his way to a stairwell and not long afterwards the deceased also made his way along the stairwell.

Paul Curran McGuirk
Paul Curran McGuirk

Within moments the accused reemerged "in a hurry" and dropped some things, picked them up and "fled".

Then Mr Curran, who was by this time fatally injured, "stumbled" into a flat and the people there raised the alarm. Mr Devally said that the accused's plea means that he acknowledges that he was the person who inflicted the injury.

He said it will be up to the jury to decide, based on the evidence, whether the accused is guilty of murder or manslaughter. For murder, he said, the prosecution must prove beyond reasonable doubt that Mr McEvoy intended to kill or cause serious injury when inflicting the fatal wound.

He said that the jury is entitled to presume that the accused intended the natural consequences of his actions and asked them what the natural consequences might be when someone "plunges a knife" into a soft area of the body containing organs.

He added that in some cases a person might say they acted in fear for their own safety and that such a case would not be murder.

He said he did not want to speak for the accused, but suggested that he might say that his intention was not to kill or cause serious injury or that he was acting in self defence but used more force than was necessary.

This afternoon the jury was shown a map and photographs of the scene where Mr Curran suffered the fatal injury. Scenes of crime examiner Garda Alan Carolan told Mr Devally that he took photos of the stairwell and balcony where he found blood on the ground, a window sill and on a wall.

The trial will continue tomorrow in front of Justice Patrick McCarthy and a jury of six men and six women.

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