Murder trial witness can't remember key events from night of stabbing due to being "stoned"

Murder trial witness can't remember key events from night of stabbing due to being "stoned"

A witness at a murder trial has said she can't remember everything that happened on the night a man was stabbed to death in the house where she was staying, because she was "stoned" on prescribed tablets and drink at the time.

Jodie Byrnes was giving evidence in the trial of Dylan Hayes (22) of The Crescent, Kilteragh, Dooradoyle, Co Limerick and Ger Hogan (33) of Raheen Square, Ballinacurra Weston.

Both men have pleaded not guilty to the murder of 26-year-old Shane Murphy at The Grove, Pallasgreen, Co Limerick on April 30, 2015.

Ms Byrnes told prosecuting counsel Paul Burns SC that she had a relationship with Dylan Hayes which ended in October 2014. After that she spent time in England and Scotland and moved into Sharon Kelly's home in Pallasgreen on the weekend before Mr Murphy lost his life. Sharon Kelly was Mr Murphy's girlfriend.

On the Wednesday night, one day before Mr Murphy died, she was at the house with Sharon, Shane, Ger Hogan and Ailish Flood. Ms Byrnes said she was "drinking and taking tablets"and went to bed early.

At some point in the night a man got into the bed beside her and tried to pull her pants down. She woke up and started screaming. She said the man, who she did not know, was "out of it" and that he was thrown out of the house when the people downstairs heard her screams.

Mr Burns then asked her if she contacted anyone the following day. She said: "I don't know because I was taking more tablets the next day."

She said that she did not know if she spoke to Dylan Hayes on the phone and cannot remember if she was aware that Mr Hayes planned to come to Pallasgreen.

As far as she could remember, she said Ger Hogan and Mr Murphy were "getting on grand". She went to bed early again and remembers Dylan coming into the room and waking her up. "I told him to get out of the house because Sharon didn't want him there," she said.

She told Mr Burns that Dylan Hayes went to the kitchen but she couldn't remember what he was doing after that and she did not remember saying anything to him.

"All I can remember is going to the sitting room and Shane was on the floor." Mr Burns asked her if she saw any interaction between the two accused men and Mr Murphy and she responded: "No. Not that I can remember anyway. I can't remember, I was stoned off my head on tablets and drink."

When Mr Burns asked her if she had seen Mr Murphy being stabbed, she replied: "Not to my knowledge but I can't remember."

Justice Patrick McCarthy told the jury of five women and seven men that he has a legal issue to deal with in the trial and asked them to return to the Central Criminal Court tomorrow.

Eoin Reynolds