Trial opens  | 

Boy (16) accused of murdering Mongolian mum told Gardaí 'it was me', court hears

The boy, who can't be identified as he is a minor, has pleaded not guilty to the murder of Ms Tserendorj but guilty to her manslaughter on January 29, 2021.

Urantsetseg Tserendorj

Eoin Reynolds

A boy who is on trial accused of murdering Mongolian woman Urantsetseg Tserendorj told gardai: "I did it, I stabbed that girl. I robbed her, it was me."

The now 16-year-old is on trial at the Central Criminal Court where Sean Gillane SC for the Director of Public Prosecutions opened his trial this afternoon.

He told the jury that they will view CCTV footage showing the stabbing that caused Ms Tserendorj's death and showing the movements of the deceased and accused before and after.

Mr Gillane said the jury will hear that following the stabbing Ms Tserendorj's injuries did not immediately seem serious but she struggled to breathe and turned purple in an ambulance and medics later discovered her carotid artery, the main blood vessel to the brain, had been damaged. She was pronounced dead nine days later.

Counsel said that one day after Ms Tserendorj was stabbed, gardai called to the accused's home and he told them: "I did it, I stabbed that girl, I robbed her, it was me. I stabbed that woman at CHQ."

He later said: "I panicked, I pulled the knife out of my pocket and stabbed the woman in the neck, I didn't mean to do it."

The boy, who can't be identified as he is a minor, has pleaded not guilty to the murder of Ms Tserendorj but guilty to her manslaughter on January 29, 2021.

The State did not accept his plea. He has also pleaded guilty to producing a knife and to attempting to rob Ms Tserendorj on a walkway between George’s Dock and Custom House Quay in the IFSC, Dublin on January 20, 2021.

Before Mr Gillane's opening, Ms Justice Mary Ellen Ring told the jury of seven women and five men that as the accused is a child the barristers and judge are not wearing their robes and the accused's identity is protected.

She asked the jury not to Google anything relating to the case and not to discuss it with their families or anyone else.

Mr Gillane told the jury to put aside prejudice and sympathy and explained some of the legal principles that will apply in the case.

Outlining the evidence, he told them that the deceased was a Mongolian native who was 49 when she died.

Her husband Ulambayer Surenkhor came to Ireland about 15 years ago and Ms Tserendorj followed with their son and daughter and got a job as a cleaner.

On January 20, 2021, the country was in lockdown and the Dublin streets were sparsely populated.

Ms Tserendorj left work shortly after 9pm and walked along the quays towards home. Shortly after 9.30pm she phoned her husband and appeared to be in some distress.

He left home and found her after a few minutes at the taxi rank by the Luas line at Connolly Station. She had a wound to her neck and while it was bleeding it did not seem significant, Mr Gillane said.

An ambulance arrived and as she got into it she began to experience difficulty in swallowing and started coughing.

She became increasingly distressed, struggled to breathe and her face became purple and her eyes closed. At the Mater Hospital she was taken into a surgical theatre where medics discovered a penetrating injury to the carotid artery.

She suffered brain swelling and was placed on life support and nine days later, on January 29, a brain test confirmed she had died. She remained on life support until her family arrived from abroad.

A post-mortem examination later revealed that she had a neck wound 2cm below her right ear that had cut off the blood flow to the brain, causing her death.

Mr Gillane said as soon as the attack was reported gardaí began canvassing the area for CCTV and discovered footage from IFSC House which covered the area along Custom's House Quay and George's Dock.

They saw a male on a pedal bike, who Mr Gillane said is the accused, confront the deceased. The incident, counsel said, happened at about 9.30pm and was captured from a variety of angles.

Mr Gillane told the jury that if they are satisfied that the accused carried out the stabbing, the case will turn on the accused's state of mind. He said the age of the accused will form part of their assessment as they will have to consider him and his personal "baggage".

The trial continues.

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