Man goes on trial accused of murdering man 'in broad daylight' with baseball bat

CourtsBy Natasha Reid
Accused: Jooda Akanbi
Accused: Jooda Akanbi

A 39-year-old man has gone on trial charged with murdering a man with a baseball bat in ‘broad daylight’ on the main street of a North Dublin town. The court heard that the accused said his actions were in self defence.

Jooda Akanbi is charged with murdering 45-year-old Taiwo Jamani on November 13th, 2013 on Main Street, Swords. He is also charged with intentionally or recklessly causing serious harm to his fellow Nigerian native on October 10th, 2013.

Mr Akanbi of Ashton Avenue, Applewood in Swords has pleaded not guilty to both charges and went on trial at the Central Criminal Court this morning.

Denis Vaughan Buckley SC, prosecuting, opened the trial to the jurors, telling them that the incident in question happened on October 10th, 2013 on Main Street, Swords.

“It was in the nature of a very serious assault, we say allegedly committed by the accused,” he said. “A large number of witnesses actually witnessed the incident, which took place in broad daylight, around 12.15pm.”

He said the prosecution case was that Mr Akanbi assaulted Mr Jamani and caused fatal injuries to him. He died in hospital on November 13th that year.

“He received very severe head injuries, rendering him unconscious until he died in Beaumont Hospital,” explained the barrister.

“When you’ve heard all the evidence in the case, it’s the prosecution’s contention that the evidence is overwhelming, in favour of a guilty verdict,” he said.

He said that the accused was still at the scene when gardai arrived and found Mr Jamani lying injured next to the accused man’s BMW.

“The accused made a verbal admission to hitting him over the head with a baseball bat,” he explained, adding that he was arrested at the scene.

Mr Vaughan Buckley said there would be evidence that the deceased had approached the accused and that there was a confrontation on the road before the incident with the baseball bat.

“The deceased also got hold of a baseball bat. There were two,” he said.

The lawyer said that, when charged with assault causing harm, the accused had replied: ‘It was self defence’.

However, he drew the jury’s attention to the report of a doctor, who had examined Mr Akanbi at Coolock Garda Station following his arrest.

The doctor said that the accused had complained of soreness but that he found no swelling or bruising, just tenderness.

“So, the defence of self defence is a matter for you,” he said.

Mr Buckley said that the post-mortem findings gave the cause of Mr Jamani’s death as blunt force trauma to the head leading to a severe injury to the brain.

He noted that Mr Jamani was, in fact, suffering from quite a severe heart condition and that this had been given as a contributing factor. However, he said that the pathologist had found that the brain injury would have proven lethal, independent of any co-existing disease.

The jurors were then shown a number of photographs taken at the scene, most of them by a garda photographer. They were also shown three photographs taken by one of the witnesses on his iPhone.

The jury of five women and seven men will hear from this witness tomorrow, when the trial continues before Mr Justice Tony Hunt. It’s expected to last two weeks.