Siblings' murder trial hears woman said 'where's the wallet' in dead man's home

CourtsBy Sunday World
Cambridge Court in Ringsend where Thomas Horan lived
Cambridge Court in Ringsend where Thomas Horan lived

A witness has told the trial of a brother and sister accused of murdering a 63-year-old man that he heard a woman's voice say "where's the wallet" in the home of the deceased early on the morning of January 6th last year.

Kenneth Cummins (28) and Sabrina Cummins (37), with an address at Ringsend Park, Dublin 4, have both pleaded not guilty to murdering Thomas Horan (63) at Cambridge Court, Ringsend on the same date last year. 
Taking to the stand, Detective Garda Ger Mullins told Remy Farrell SC prosecuting that two people he believed to be Sabrina Cummins and Kenneth Cummins were present on CCTV being shown to the jury.
Describing footage taken from the front doorway of the Shipwright pub on January 5th, known locally as Sallys, Detective Mullins said that a male wearing a white cap was known to him as Kenneth Cummins.
Detective Mullins said that a lady with black hair and a black jacket seen standing in the same area, was known to him as Sabrina Cummins, sister of Kenneth Cummins.
He went on to identify what he believed to be both of the accused, walking up Thorncastle Road to where Cambridge Court is located.
At 1.02am, he identified a person he believed was Kenneth Cummins, carrying a white bag with cans of beer, and walking in the direction of Cambridge Court.
Detective Mullins then identified what he believed to be both of the accused outside the home of Tom Horan.
He said he believed it was Kenneth Cummins that could be seen running out of Cambridge Court and hiding behind a car parked outside the Old Presbytery before returning to Cambridge Court.
Later at 4.40am he identified people he believed to be the accused at the back door of what he described as a bedsit where Tom Horan lived.
Mr Farrell said: "The person in the baseball cap has opened the door and is leaning in."
Detective Mullins replied: "it appears the female briefly looked in as well slightly after 4.45am in the morning."
The court heard that a telephone call to the emergency services was made at 4.57am.
Gardai can be seen arriving on the CCTV footage at 5am.
Taking to the stand, Mr Desmond Farrell told Garret Baker BL prosecuting that he lived next door to Tom Horan for four years.
Mr Farrell described his neighbour as a quiet man.
"I would see him coming and going - he was a quiet man," he said.
When asked where he was on the morning of January 6th, Mr Farrell said he was in bed.
"After midnight, probably about 20 past, I went out to the toilet. There was a commotion going on next door. I could hear a woman and a man arguing," he said.
When asked if he recognised the voice of the man, he said: "It was Tommy Horan - there was one male one female."
After going back to sleep, Mr Farrell said he was woken once more after 3am.
"I looked out the window and I seen two people outside at the main gate leading into the complex. They moved away from the gate and later on there was a row," he said.
"There was shouting and very loud noise. I heard: 'where's the wallet' from the female and then: 'I'll show you where it is'."
Mr Farrell said that it was the deceased who had replied and that this was followed by a further disturbance.
"There was stuff being knocked about," he said. 
Taking to the stand, Gerald Geoghegan told Mr Remy Farrell that he was Area Housing Manager for the South East area of the city.
"Cambridge Court housing facility has 38 units of one bed and studio apartments solely for elderly citizens on the housing list," he said.
Mr Geoghegan said that there were four cords in the home of the deceased which could be used to set off an alarm when assistance was required by residents.
Liason officer with Dublin City Council, Mr Aidan O'Dea told Mr Farrell that Mr Horan "kept to himself".
"He was a very very quiet inoffensive type of man - he kept to himself. I would meet him in the morning at 10 or 10.30 and if he wasn't there, I knew he had gone up to see his (former) wife."
Taking to the stand, Garda Tom Petrie told Remy Farrell that he was an XRY examiner and that he had received data from the mobile phones of both Sabrina and Kenneth Cummins. 
Garda Petrie found that on January 8th at 9.20am a text message had been sent from the phone of Sabrina Cummins to Kenneth Cummins saying: "Kenny my friend not meeting me now til 3 I have to meet him in Navan - getting 400 so we can go to London - tell no one."
At 11.44 a text was sent from the phone of Kenneth Cummins to his sister saying: "Do not let me down please. We are still under pc going to London."
Mr Justice Tony Hunt told the jury that matters will be dealt with in their absence and that they will not be required to return until next Tuesday.
The trial continues next week before a jury of seven women and five men and is expected to last three weeks.

By Anne Sharkey