Judge begin's his charge in St Stephen's Day murder trial
The judge has begun his charge in the trial of a Dublin man accused of murdering a 26-year-old man in what the prosecution have told the jury was a "cold and calculated" way.
Wayne Kennedy (34) with an address at Rathsallagh Park in Shankill, Co. Dublin is charged with murdering David Spain on December 26th, 2013 at this address as well as intentionally or recklessly causing serious harm to Sean Turner on the same date.
Last week at the Central Criminal Court, Mr Kennedy pleaded not guilty to both counts.
Prosecuting counsel, Mr Paddy McCarthy SC told the Central Criminal Court today in his closing speech, that the accused deliberately used a knife to cause injury.
Mr McCarthy reminded the jury that the accused had been out at a party in the early hours of Stephens day.
"We know he had taken drink and cocaine," he said.
"He then goes home, goes to bed and at 4.49am, Wayne Kennedy sends a message to Sean Turner saying: 'enough is enough - you owe me 50 quid for months. I've been sound about it - your takin' the piss now'," he continued.
Mr McCarthy said it was difficult to know what Mr Kennedy was thinking that would cause him to send a message clearly geared to menace and inflame Mr Turner.
"They arranged a straightener, a fight," he said.
"Mr turner picked up a rock and fired it at Mr Kennedy. It didn't hit him - there is a (fight) and a shout out 'I have been stabbed'. Mr Turner has two stab wounds," he said.
He added: "A boxing match is one thing - using a knife is another".
"Mr Spain follows down Mr Kennedy - what are you supposed to do when your friend has been stabbed," he said.
Mr McCarthy added that Mr Kennedy had the knife at all times.
"He stabs him six times - Mr Spain had punched Mr Kennedy on a number of occasions - it appears it was then when he (the accused) got the broken nose," he said.
"A knife going into your body is going to cause serious injury - this was cold and calculated. This was a deliberate use of the knife to cause injury," he said.
"If you are going to a straightener (fight) you don't bring a knife," he added.
"Mr Kennedy (gave) one stab, two stabs, that's not enough, three four, five and six stabs," he said.
"You can't look into the mind of Mr Kennedy but intent can be inferred beyond a reasonable doubt from the surrounding circumstances," concluded Mr McCarthy today.
Counsel for the defence, Mr Remy Farrell SC reminded the jury in his closing speech that Sean Turner was the first person to mention a fight by text message.
"Some trials are a who done it - this isn't," he said.
"This is a murder case where the only issue you have to grapple with is that of self defence. Self defence applies not to what you do in the heat of the moment - it also applies to preparatory acts," he continued
"If you know a confrontation is in the offing, you take steps. The idea that you can't bring a knife to a straightener is not right if you know you are going to meet someone that is untrustworthy," he said.
"Wayne Kennedy was looking (by text) for the return of fifty euro (from Sean Turner). What's the response? 'I'll fight ya'," he said.
Mr Farrell asked the jury to consider the demeanour of Mr Turner.
"Mr Turner is a man obsessed with his own appearance - he is a quintessential alpha male - he likes to be the big man," he said.
"When Wayne Kennedy goes to meet Sean Turner, he (the accused) knows exactly who he's dealing with. He makes a calculation that Sean Turner is not a man that likes to lose," he continued.
"As soon as Wayne Kennedy comes out of the house, he sees that there is not one man but three. Mr Kennedy has brought trouble to his own front door," he said.
"Mr Dowd and Mr Spain went with Mr Turner with a plan to make sure things didn't end well for Wayne Kennedy," he added.
Mr Farrell said that this is a case where Mr Kennedy did retreat and that he was chased.
He said: "What was David Spain hoping to do? He wasn't trying to reason with him (the accused). He went for him."
"You can see what happens on the CCTV. This wasn't a straightener: this was an ambush," said Mr Farrell.
"Look at the CCTV. You will see Wayne Kennedy moving backwards from start to finish - this isn't somebody who is intent on using a knife at all costs," he said.
"I suggest you ask yourselves, considering self defence when you look at that footage, who is the aggressor? Is it Wayne Kennedy or is it David Spain. You're going to make the most important decision in his (the accused) life," he said.
"When you make allowances for the heat of the moment, you will find it difficult to accept the prosecutions case," he concluded.
Mr Justice Patrick McCarthy will continue his charge to the jury of 10 men and two women tomorrow.