Jury advised to convict accused if they are satisfied with description of assault

Martin Brophy, girlfriend Mary Smith and baby son David
Martin Brophy, girlfriend Mary Smith and baby son David

The jury in the murder trial of a Waterford man charged with the 2012 murder of Martin Brophy has been told that if they are satisfied the accused assaulted Mr Brophy in the manner described by Facebook messages then it is clear the accused is guilty of murder.

William Moran (20) of Connolly Place, Waterford City is charged with murdering Martin Brophy (22) at the old Waterford Institute of Technology (WIT) building between May 19 and May 21 2012.

Mr Moran has pleaded not guilty to the charge and is currently on trial at the Central Criminal Court in Dublin.

In his closing speech, Michael Delaney SC prosecuting reminded the jury of William Moran admitting to his presence at the scene.

"He (the accused) admits his presence at the scene kicking Martin Brophy ten times."

"You have evidence a number of days after of trying to conceal evidence and of William Moran having swollen knuckles to the right hand."

"To deal with the Facebook evidence, on May 20th 2012 there are messages that if sent by him (the accused) constitute clear admissions to murder - the question is did he send them."

"These messages were sent on the Sunday - it was another 24 hrs before Martin Brophys body was found."

"You may well take the view that Gavin Walsh participated in the assault - it is important how that effects the decision but Gavin Walsh is not on trial."

Gavin Walsh, who was present with the accused at the old WIT building on May 19th 2012 gave evidence at the Central Criminal Court on February 17th.

"The key point is this - if you are satisfied William Moran assaulted Martin Brophy in the manner described by Facebook messages then clearly William Moran is guilty of murder."

In his closing speech, Colman Cody SC defending said that the deceased man, Martin Brophy, met a violent death. 

"This young man met a violent death - it would be natural for us not to feel some revulsion," counsel said.

"You are not here to bring somebody to account or champion the cause of his friends and family."

"You've had CCTV footage of William Moran purchasing cider at Reddys off-license," said counsel for the defence.

"There is technological evidence in the case of the Facebook records and what is purported to have taken place between the account of William Moran and other people. Facebook as a medium of information is vulnerable and insecure," counsel said.

"If you are on Facebook, can you say if you receive a communication from someone that it is in fact coming from them? There is no question that people can access accounts in a number of ways."

"Gavin Walsh had the benefit of a black Samsung phone which he had received as the result of a swap with Mr Moran. The last account (Facebook) accessed was the account of William Moran," said Mr Cody.

"It has been said Gavin Walsh is not on trial - his credibility is on trial," counsel said.

"We know William Moran did not behave appropriately in that warehouse - it is a hell of a leap to say those actions lead to the death of Martin Brophy," counsel said

"William Moran did not behave on that night in a manner that anyone could condone.That is a long way from reaching a conclusion from evidence that William Moran is guilty of the offence of murder."

"I am urging you to return a verdict of not guilty in this case," counsel said.

Mr Justice Patrick McCarthy began his charge to the jury of four women and seven men and will continue his charge tomorrow.