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Stab accused stuck body in boot of car, court told

THE Central Criminal Court has heard that a 27-year-old man on trial for murder confessed to gardai that he stabbed a father-of-one, "stuck" his body in a boot, and was intending on burning the car at a halting site, when he noticed gardai and ran away.

Garda Pat Muldowney was giving evidence in the trial of Stephen Penrose, who denies murdering David Sharkey at an apartment in Parkview, Blackcastle, Navan on May 17, 2009.

The 28-year-old was stabbed ten times with an 18cm-long stainless steel blade. The knife penetrated to a depth of 13.5cm and went through his heart, stomach and liver.

The accused, of no fixed abode, has admitted man-slaughter, but the DPP has rejected the plea and Penrose is being tried for murder.

In his interviews with the accused, Garda Muldowney said Penrose repeatedly told him he was "sick from drugs".

He said he told Mr Sharkey he had money to buy an ounce of heroin on May 17, but he was going to rob the drugs from him when he showed up at the apartment in Parkview.

Penrose said he was living in a tent at the time, but had spent the night before taking drugs at the apartment, and he "forced" the girl who lived there to repeatedly ring Mr Sharkey during the day, asking him to supply the heroin.

Penrose said he was a drug addict and would smoke six to seven bags of heroin every day.

When Mr Sharkey arrived at the apartment, the accused told him he had to go out to his car to get the money. Penrose said the deceased wouldn't let him out the door and produced a small knife, saying he wanted his money or the heroin back.

The accused said he pulled his own knife out of his trousers when Mr Sharkey "made a swipe" at him, and then he stabbed the deceased, "three or four times." Afterwards he used a black towel and bleach to clean up the scene.

He found Mr Sharkey's BMW keys in his trousers pocket, "stuck" the body in the boot and put his own bloodstained clothes into a black bag.

"It was all a panic...nothing was premeditated, he pulled a knife on me," Penrose said. "I hadn't intended stabbing the young fella.

"That fella is connected to serious people. I'll have a contract on my head for this, do you think I would do it intentionally?" the accused said to gardai.

He then drove the BMW to Dunsink Lane, Finglas in north Dublin, where he was planning on burning everything.

But he said "gardai flew in on top of him" and he made a run for it.

Gardai who were on patrol in the area at the time have given evidence of following the BMW into St Joseph's halting site. By the time they reached the car, it had been abandoned and they discovered David Sharkey's remains in the boot.

The accused also admitted to texting the deceased's partner Joleen Smyth from Mr Sharkey's mobile phone, after he had killed him.

The trial continues.