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Murder accused sent plea by text for alibi, court told

Teenage girl tells of messages between her and a man on trial for stabbing two Poles to death

THE teenage girl stared at the webcam in front of her as the barrister in another part of the Criminal Courts of Justice read her a series of text messages that had been found on her phone.

The texts, for the most part flippant teenage banter, were all sent the night two Polish men were fatally stabbed with a screwdriver in Drimnagh, Dublin.

The girl agreed with the prosecution that they had been sent to and from the two men accused of murdering the two men.

David Curran (19), of Lisadell Green, Drimnagh, denies murdering Pawel Kalite (29) and Marius Szwajkos (27) outside their house on Benbulben Road on February 23, 2008.

He admits their manslaughter but his plea has not been accepted by the Director of Public Prosecutions. Co-accused Sean Keogh (21), of Vincent Street, Inchicore, Dublin, also denies murder. The girl, who cannot be named for legal reasons, was giving evidence by video link on Friday.

And she agreed with prosecution counsel John O'Kelly that she had texted Mr Curran at 10.10 that evening.

"Ha! I'm just reading what it says on the news. Ha! Shittin' xxx."

A couple of minutes later Mr Curran texted her back.

"Ha, ha. You're mad."

She replied to him.

"Ha, ha, but like I can't believe it... mad night xxxx."

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Mr Curran quickly replied: "Fuck it. Delete message, get a new number tomorrow xxx." When she asked why he texted back: "If they ask you for your phone number xx."

The girl agreed with Mr Curran's defence counsel, Giollaiosa O Lideadha, that Mr Curran had been asking her to help him create an alibi.

The barrister suggested to her that his client had been keen to leave a record of texts that suggested two people who had not got a care in the world. She agreed that a text from Mr Curran that read "Ha xx" was in reference to an earlier text of hers which had read: "Me stomach is in bits."

The girl agreed that she had replied to Curran: "It's not funny shithead" in reference to this exchange and not in reference to the killings.

The court heard that the girl had also received several texts from Mr Keogh asking her to get Mr Curran to call him. She had replied that she was low on credit.

To which Mr Keogh replied: "No problem. The man meant to be dead xxx."

He had asked again for her to ask Mr Curran to ring him and had texted at around 11.15 that evening: "That's on the telly text about other thing. We're fucked."

A few minutes later he texted her: "I had to help me mate. I burnt me new runners and all."

Later that night Mr Curran had texted the girl again. At almost 12.15am he sent the message: "You hear bout that in Drimnagh. It's going around I done it because I got stabbed the other night."

A short while later he had continued in another text: "Yeah, fucking weirdos. Wasn't in Drimnagh all day."

The girl had replied: "Yeah, I know. Ha ha. I have a plan but not going to text it xxx."

A text that had been saved in the drafts folder on the phone read: "xxxxx Do you know what I was thinking we could say? That me and you was over in Ashley's babysitting coz me and you we're the only ones who don't have an alibi."

The girl told the court that she had met Mr Curran and Mr Keogh earlier that afternoon. Along with a second teenage girl and a teenage boy they had spent time at the canal and in Inchicore field.

She told Mr O'Kelly they had just been standing around and agreed they had also all been drinking.

Earlier, the court heard from the other teenage girl in the group.

She agreed with Mr O Lideadha that Mr Curran had been swimming in the canal and had been drinking vodka, alcopops and wine in the course of the day as well as smoking cannabis joints and taking pills known as Roche tablets (yellows and blues).

Both girls had described a fight which had developed outside the Drimnagh Takeaway on the Benbulben Road. The fight started when the teenage boy that had been with them at the canal had bumped into Mr Kalite.

The girl said that Mr Kalite had bumped into the boy "for no reason" and had then started chasing the boy.

She said a fight had developed and Mr Kalite ended up on the ground and received several kicks.

She said he had got up and walked away back towards the houses. She said she had texted Mr Curran to tell him what had happened and he had replied that he would come to meet them.

When he arrived, she said, he was angry because he had received a call telling him his father was injured.

She told the court: "He was screaming because he thought his dad was after being stabbed." She agreed that Mr Curran and Mr Keogh had told her they had come armed but said she had not seen what they had brought with them.

She agreed with Mr O Lideadha that the teenage boy might have called Mr Curran on her phone to tell him his dad had been stabbed.

She agreed she had told gardai the boy was "on a mad one". "Obviously he would have been if someone was after starting on him. Anybody would," she added.

She agreed that when they reached the house on Benbulben Road where Mr Kalite lived, the boy had shouted out: "There they are."

Earlier, the court also heard from Kamila and Radek Szertemeta, a brother and sister who had shared a house with the two deceased men. Ms Szertemeta told the court she had been having a cigarette outside the house when Mr Kalite came home. He had seemed upset and had pushed past her to go into the house, locking her out.

She said she had heard him talking to her brother and Mr Szwajkos and say: "I'm almost 30 and those stupid little punks attacked me with a baseball bat."

She said she had also heard him say: "I will kill them all."

She had said that they tried to stop Mr Kalite from going back outside and she had grabbed his hand as he went to go out of the front gate to make him stop and wait for the other two men.

It was while they were standing there, she said, that she saw a group of teenagers on the other side of the road.

She said they shouted: "All Polish people are fuckers". She had shouted back: "Why?"

She said that Mr Curran came running across the road. He had a screwdriver in his hand which was raised to head height.

She had thought he was aiming at her so she had ducked. Mr Kalite, standing just behind her, had been hit and had fallen forward, pushing her out on to the pavement. Out of the corner of her eye she had seen Mr Szwajkos jump over the gate to the driveway and had heard him fall to the ground.

She told the court: "You could feel it on the pavement." She said the whole incident had happened in seconds.

Last week, Professor Marie Cassidy, the state pathologist, told the court that both men had died from penetrating wounds to their heads, possibly caused by a Philips-type screwdriver.

Prof Cassidy said Mr Kalite had two cross shaped injuries on his left scalp, one of which penetrated his skull and brain.

It had left an 11cm long track through his brain and caused irreparable damage to the brain stem.

She said Mr Szwajkos had died from a remarkably similar wound. Neither men would have had any chance of recovery. The trial continues next week before Mr Justice Liam McKechnie and the jury of eight women and four men.

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