Two in court accused of murder of German student
THE State has been allowed another six weeks to complete a book of evidence for the trial of two youths accused of the murder of German student Thomas Heinrich who died following a stabbing in Dublin last year.
Mr Heinrich, a 22-year-old post-graduate degree student from Munich, was stabbed in his stomach during an incident outside his apartment at St Anthony's Road, Rialto in Dublin's south inner city on December 1.
His friend Robert Rinker (22), also a student from Germany, suffered life threatening injuries and was in intensive care for two days.
In May, a 16-year-old schoolboy, who cannot be named because he is a minor, and Wesley Kelly (19), of St Anthony's Road, Rialto, Dublin, were charged at the Dublin Children's Court with the murder of Mr Heinrich and assault causing serious harm to Mr Rinker.
Both offences, on conviction, can carry life sentences.
Mr Kelly made no reply when the charges were put to him while his co-accused responded with “no comment”, Detective Sergeant Michael McNulty and Det-Sgt Michael O'Brien had said at the teens' first hearing on May 29 last.
Within a week the pair were released from a remand in custody after members of their families stood €3,000 bail and today they appeared again at the juvenile court where Judge John O'Connor heard that the book of evidence in the case was not yet ready.
A state solicitor said that a six-week adjournment was needed and explained that “there are 97 statements, technical evidence and CCTV evidence is being examined”.
Judge O'Connor noted from the defence lawyers that the pair were consenting to the adjournment at this stage.
Mr Kelly spoke briefly during his hearing to say good morning to the judge and his co-accused answered “got on alright” when asked how he had done in his recent school exams.
The youths, who were accompanied to court by family members, were remanded on continuing bail to appear again in September.
Neither teenager has indicated how they will plead and while the youths have been charged in a juvenile court, the murder allegation means they will be tried at the Central Criminal Court.
However, before they can be returned for trial to the higher court they must be served with books of evidence by the prosecution.
Their bail terms state that they must reside at their current addresses, obey a 9pm to 7am curfew and sign on daily at their local garda station. They have also been warned that they cannot not contact each other personally or by electronic means, and must have “no contact directly or indirectly with witnesses”.
Mr Heinrich and his friend Mr Rinker, both students at the MHMK Makromedia School for Media and Communication in Munich, had to spend their third semester abroad and had decided to study at Griffith College in Dublin. Mr Heinrich had been expected to return home to Germany in December when his study period in Dublin was due to end.
The two students had been living at Herberton apartments on St Anthony's Road, Rialto.
At around 5.30am on Saturday, on December 1 last, they went outside where they sustained injuries; Mr Heinrich was rushed by ambulance to nearby St James's Hospital, where he underwent surgery, however, he was pronounced dead at 9am that day.