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Witness says boot to victim's skull was 'like a football kick'

A WITNESS has told a murder trial that he saw the accused throw the victim out of a shop on to the pavement before kicking him at least six times in the head and back.

John Nerney was giving evidence at the Central Criminal Court in the trial of an internet cafe and call shop owner charged with murdering a customer over a 70 cent debt.

Zhen Dong Zhao (36), with an address at Jervis Street, Dublin, has pleaded not guilty to murdering Finglas man Noel Fegan on May 20 last year. The alleged attack took place outside e-Times on Wellington Quay.

Mr Fegan (40), who had been living in Aughrim Street, had gone into the shop to phone his daughter.


Mr Nerney testified that he was waiting for a bus outside the cafe at around 4pm that day.

"The accused threw the victim out of the shop and the victim fell," he said, describing the victim as having a homeless appearance. "He kicked him a few times in the back and head."

He said the victim was on all fours and trying to crawl away when the accused paused.

"I thought he'd stopped, but he kicked him fairly firmly in the skull," he continued, comparing the force with that of a long-distance kick in football. He said the victim then vomited.

He said the accused did not seem overly enraged while he was kicking the victim and gave him the two-fingered gesture afterwards.

Cross examined by Brendan Grehan, defending, Mr Nerney agreed that the first thing he noticed was someone landing on the ground. He did not see the accused throw the victim out of the shop.

"I got the impression he was forcefully removed from the shop," he said.

Mr Grehan put it to him that he had seen more kicks than other witnesses, but Mr Nerney said the minimum he had seen was six.

Counsel also suggested that the accused had made the two-fingered gesture at the victim's friend, but Mr Nerney said he got the impression that it was directed at the victim.

The trial has already heard that Mr Zhao accepts he kicked the deceased after Mr Fegan failed to pay him 70 cent he owed him for a phone call.

It is the prosecution's case that Mr Fegan died of bleeding to the brain caused by Mr Zhao kicking him in the head.

The trial continues.

Irish Independent