Witness says fight on Swords' main street was like Star Wars

Witness says fight on Swords' main street was like Star Wars

A witness has told a murder trial that an afternoon fight on a town’s main street between two men with baseball bats ‘was like something out of Star Wars’.

The taxi driver was giving evidence to the Central Criminal Court yesterday in the trial of a 39-year-old man, charged with murdering another man with a baseball bat in a north Dublin town.

John Clarke said he was in his car on Main Street, Swords on October 10th, 2013, when he saw the fight break out between the two men.

He said he saw one man take a baseball bat out of the boot of a car and hit the other man with it ‘anywhere he could’.

He said the second man leaned into the same boot, took out another bat and began swinging that.

“They were blocking each other,” testified Mr Clarke. “It was like something out of Star Wars.”

The jury also heard from a computer consultant, who took off his t-shirt to stop the bleeding from the injured man's head. This witness also took photographs of the accused in case he did 'a runner'.

Pearse Fagan testified that he was on the phone to a colleague on the town's main street around 12.20 that afternoon when he witnessed two men shouting very loudly at each other.

"The next thing I knew there was a baseball bat. I saw two baseball bats being swung by both people," he said. "I saw one bat being swung as if it was striking a baseball - quite viciously."

Mr Fagan said he cut his call to his colleague short as a result.

"What I said to the guy on the phone was: 'There are two fellas knocking the sh*te out of each other with baseball bats. I'll call you back'," he recalled.

He said that the man who had swung the bat put it in the back seat of a car. He said the other man was on the ground and bleeding from his head. A couple of people began assisting him.

Mr Fagan, a First Aider, said he knew that he really had to stop the bleeding.

"I took off my t-shirt and used that as a compress for the wound. I put him in the recovery position on his left side," he explained, adding that the man's eyes looked as if he was drunk and dazed.

"The other guy came back around and we thought he was going to have another go," he said. "I said to him, sarcastically: 'That wasn't a very nice thing to do' to soften the situation. He said he (the other man) attacked him first."

Mr Fagan said he took three photos of the person he saw swinging the bat and identified them in court.

Under cross examination by the defence, Mr Fagan said he had taken photographs of the man and the car so he would have evidence in case he did 'a runner'.

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

Mr Akanbi of Ashton Avenue, Applewood in Swords has pleaded not (NOT) guilty to both charges. He says his actions were in self defence.

The incident in question happened on the earlier date; Mr Jamani died in hospital a month later.

The trial continues before Mr Justice Tony Hunt and a jury of five women and seven men.