Sunday 18 March 2018

Victim's brother describes knife allegedly used to stab his sister

Vezel Jahiri (31) with an address at Lohunda Crescent in Clonsilla appeared before Blanchardstown District Court yesterday where he was charged with murder.
Vezel Jahiri (31) with an address at Lohunda Crescent in Clonsilla appeared before Blanchardstown District Court yesterday where he was charged with murder.

Ruaidhrí Giblin

A witness in the trial of a man accused of murder has described a knife that was allegedly used to stab him moments before his sister fled the scene screaming.

Vesel Jahiri, of Louth Village, Dundalk but originally from Kosovo, has pleaded not guilty to murdering Anna Finnegan at Allendale Glen, Clonsilla, Dublin 15 on September 21 2012.

Mr Jahiri (33) old has also pleaded not guilty to assault causing harm on Anna Finnegan's brother, Karl, on the same date.

Upon the Central Criminal Court trial's opening, prosecuting counsel Patrick Marrinan SC, told jurors that Ms Finnegan and Mr Jahiri had been in a ten year relationship that had “deteriorated dramatically”. They had two young children together and “access had become more than a thorny subject.”

Karl Finnegan gave evidence on Friday that he was having tea with Anna in her home when Mr Jahiri allegedly burst through the door and came down the hallway with a knife in his hand.

An altercation took place, the court heard, in which Mr Finnegan was stabbed in the chest and head while Anna Finnegan fled in distress, screaming. She ran outside to get help from a neighbour but collapsed on the roadside shortly afterwards.

Under cross examination from defence counsel, Brendan Grehan SC today, Mr Finnegan said he knew Anna had told Mr Jahiri to drop money down to the house on September 21 2012.

Mr Grehan put it to him that in or around late August, early September, Mr Jahiri got the impression that Anna Finnegan's cousin and sister were trying to have him killed. Mr Finnegan's response was that he wasn't aware of that.

Mr Finnegan said he was aware of Mr Jahiri's version of events, that the accused, Mr Jahiri, did not bring any knife to the house but Karl Finnegan produced two knives. The witness was then asked to confirm passages of statements he made to gardaí regarding the events of September 21 2012.

Mr Finnegan had described to gardaí, he confirmed, the knife that was allegedly in Mr Jahiri's hand when he burst though the door of Anna's home. He told gardaí it had a wooden handle with rivets, he confirmed.

Mr Grehan asked the witness how he could have known the knife had a wooden handle with rivets if it had been in Mr Jahiri's hand at all times to which Mr Finnegan replied, “I suppose I recognised the type of knife”.

Mr Finnegan said he understood Mr Grehan when the barrister put it to him that he could not possibly have said it was the knife that was in Mr Jahiri's hand unless he had seen the knife before.

Mr Finnegan also agreed with defence counsel that in 2014, he made a statement to gardaí in which he gave a “big long account why it wasn't a knife you had ever seen” in his sister's house.

He denied it had become important for him to be clear that Mr Jahiri had the knife in the hallway.

Again Mr Finnegan agreed with Mr Grehan that he made another statement to gardaí on April 15 2014, in which he gave “a big long account of all that had happened”.

When asked what prompted him to make this statement a couple of weeks before the trial, Mr Finnegan said he was invited to go to the garda station.

Mr Finnegan had told the court during evidence on Friday that Anna collapsed outside her home and before he could do anything, Mr Jahiri returned to the scene in a White Ford Focus.

Mr Jahiri put his hands on Anna and “demanded I help him put her in the car,” Mr Finnegan said.

When asked how he felt about what had happened, Mr Finnegan wondered aloud how he was supposed to feel. “The man who violently assaulted me just drove off with my sister,” he said.

The case continues tomorrow before a jury of 6 men and 5 women with Mr Justice Paul McDermott presiding.

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