Murder accused wanted to end feud, court hears

James Connors
James Connors

A Wexford man told gardai that he was attacked by his ex-girlfriend's partner and stabbed him with a knife he said the deceased had brought to the scene, a murder trial has heard.

James Connors (29), of Rosemount, Drinagh, Co Wexford, has pleaded not guilty to the murder of 27-year-old Jason Ryan at Hollyville Heights in Wexford Town on January 25, 2012.

At the Central Criminal Court today prosecution counsel Mr Gerard Clarke SC called Detective Garda Pat O'Brien of Wexford Garda Station.

Detective Garda O'Brien agreed with counsel that on January 27, 2012 he conducted two interviews with Mr Connors at Wexford Garda Station.

Det Gda O'Brien agreed that in the second interview Mr Connors gave an account of the altercation with James Ryan. He said that he had called to Mr Ryan's home at Hollyville Heights because the two of them had argued and he wanted to tell him to forget about it.

Det Gda O'Brien agreed that Mr Connors said they had exchanged words when Mr Connors called his ex-girlfriend Samantha Hore from prison and Mr Ryan answered the phone. "I just wanted to tell him to forget about it," he told Det Gda O'Brien during the interview.

Mr Clarke then called Detective Garda Dan O'Sullivan. Det Gda O'Sullivan agreed that he interviewed Mr Connors later the same day at Wexford Garda Station.

During that interview Mr Connors told Det Gda O'Sullivan he called to Jason Ryan's home at Hollyville Heights on the night of January 24 and asked him to come down saying: "I want a word with you."

His statement to Gda O'Sullivan continued: "He had a bat and a knife and he said what the fuck do you want? Once I saw the weapons I walked away up the road, up the ramp."

Garda O'Sullivan asked if he had brought a knife with him and he answered no. He said the knife was tucked into the waistband of Mr Ryan's trousers.

Gda O'Sullivan agreed that Mr Connors then told him that he walked into a cul de sac and realised he could go no further.

The statement continued: "I turned around and as soon as I turned Jay hit me on top of the head. I pulled the knife from his waist and stabbed him with it. He was about to hit me again when I grabbed the knife and stabbed him. He hit me another couple of times after that and then he walked away. I thought he was fine. He wasn't bleeding or anything."

During the interview Mr Connors said he had little recollection of the events leading up to the fight with Mr Ryan. He said he had taken tablets and had been drinking spirits. 

Det Gda O'Sullivan also agreed with Mr Clarke that Mr Connors spoke about the origins of his feud with Mr Ryan. Mr Connors said he had called his ex-girlfriend Samantha Hore from prison but Jason answered the phone. He said there was an argument and added that he called Ms Hore's number again "because I knew ringing her would annoy Jay."

The trial continues on Monday in front of Justice Margaret Heneghan.