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I aimed car at victim's son claims mother

A MUM accused of murdering a man with her car told gardaí she meant to hit his son, a court heard today.

Claire Nolan said she “wanted to hit” a man she thought had tampered with her car.

But his father “jumped in my way”, her murder trial was told.

Ms Nolan has pleaded not guilty to murdering 66-year-old Michael Duffy in his son Francis’ driveway on Wellview Grove in Blanchardstown.

The taxi driver's spine was broken in two after being hit by her car.

He later died of crush injuries.

The 25-year-old mother of Sheephill Green in Blanchardstown has pleaded guilty to his manslaughter on January 26, 2008.

But the prosecution has not accepted this plea.

Yesterday, Detective Garda Bernard Connaughton told of interviewing Nolan in the days after her arrest.

Ms Nolan told gardaí that she had been drinking and taking drugs in the house next door to the home of the victim's son, Francis Duffy.

She said she was told that Francis Duffy was tampering with her car and she went out and fought with him.

She then got into her Nissan Micra and drove into Francis Duffy's driveway.

“Were you trying to hit Fran?” asked the Garda. She agreed that she was.

“He was after sticking a knife in my hand,” she said.

“I wanted to hit him. I wanted to wreck his house as well. The old fella jumped in my way.”

Prof Marie Cassidy carried out a post-mortem examination on Mr Duffy on the day of his death.

She told the Central Criminal Court that the crush injury to his chest was sustained when he was struck by a motor vehicle.

She said that his ribcage was deformed and depressed, that he had multiple rib fractures and fractures of his breast and collar bones.

His spine was transected, and that the fractured ends had severed his spinal cord.

Prof Cassidy explained that he had massive internal trauma: the sac around the heart was torn, the heart itself was crushed and the aorta completely torn apart where the spine had been broken.

She said that both lungs were awash with blood and the left lung was lying free in the chest cavity, having been torn from its pedicle.

He also had a haemorrhage of the brain, along with abrasions to the back of his head and the front of his legs.

He had lost a substantial quantity of blood and would have become unconscious immediately, she said.

She said that the type of crush injury that Mr Duffy had sustained would most commonly be associated with a run-over injury. The trial continues.