Trial latest Teen weeps as he tells court how he found mum dead in bed
A teenager broke down today as he told the trial of a man accused of murdering his mother of the moment he found her dead in her bedroom.
"I could see she was not breathing. I could see her cheek was puffy and she was cold. I knew that I was not going to see her again," Denis Carroll told the murder trial at the Central Criminal Court this morning.
Amanda Carroll's body was discovered in the bedroom of her apartment over two years ago by her then 16-year-old son Denis Carroll who had left the house that morning to play football not knowing that his mother was dead.
Sean Nolan (36), with an address at Ashington Crescent, Navan Road in Dublin has pleaded not guilty to murder but guilty to the manslaughter of his partner Ms Carroll (33) at Homestead Court, Quarry Road, Cabra, Dublin 7 on October 21, 2018.
Denis Carroll (18), told prosecution counsel Shane Costelloe SC today that his mother had been in a long-term relationship with another man until May 2018 and she started going out with the accused shortly afterwards. The witness said his mother had met Mr Nolan on the dating app Tinder.
Denis told the jurors that he met Mr Nolan a few times when he was in their apartment and agreed with counsel that there would have been occasions where his mother and the accused would have drank too much. "They had a problem binge-drinking," he added.
Denis told Mr Costelloe that he remembered one occasion where his mother and the accused had an argument about her ex-boyfriend, who was the father of Ms Carroll's youngest child.
The witness said Mr Nolan had acted aggressively during this particular argument and indicated that he was going to hurt himself.
Denis said he stepped in between his mother and the accused at the time as he wanted to defend her. He agreed that he saw Mr Nolan "kick out" at his mother and the accused then left the apartment.
The witness further agreed that his mother had chased after Mr Nolan to come back, which he did, and the witness said the next morning it was "like nothing had happened" between the pair. Denis said his mother had gotten a tattoo of the accused's name and he also got one with her name.
Two weeks before his mother's death, Denis testified that he came home to find his mother and the accused drunk but in good form. The witness said Mr Nolan was expressing his love for his mother but then he made reference to Ms Carroll's ex-partner and started to "flip-out".
A verbal argument ensued between the pair and they were both calling each other names, he said. The accused man said he was going to pack his bags and leave the apartment but Ms Carroll tried to get him to stay, said Denis.
Following this, the witness said his mother was looking to get a set of keys back off Mr Nolan but he wouldn't give them back and aggressively pushed his mother out of the car. "I was angry and I took the keys out of the ignition and told him I would give him a hiding if he did anything like that again," he explained, adding that Mr Nolan then said he was sorry.
The witness agreed with Mr Costelloe that the last time he saw his mother alive was when she went to the pub with Mr Nolan around 7pm on Saturday October 20.
Denis said he was in bed with his girlfriend around 1am that morning when he heard his mother and the accused come into the apartment. "I could hear mum's high heels. I heard a loud bang but I didn't think anything of it and went back to sleep," he noted.
Denis agreed with the barrister that he was a talented soccer player and played for Bohemians. The witness said he was getting ready in the apartment for a football match around 9.30am on October 21 but did not go into his mother's room as he thought she was asleep.
When he was leaving the building, Denis said he found his mother's brown handbag on the ground floor and brought it back upstairs.
When he returned to the apartment at 3.15pm, Denis testified that his girlfriend was there and she told him that Ms Carroll was still not awake. "I went to check on her. I called on her and she was not being responsive. As I was going into the bedroom I could see she was not breathing. I could see her cheek was puffy and she was cold. I just seen she was dead (sic)," he said.
The witness began to sob as he told the jury that he remembered "breaking down" and smashing his iPhone off the wall and "going crazy". "I knew that I was not going to see her again," he said.
Opening the trial prosecution counsel Mr Costelloe SC said that Mr Nolan's plea means he accepts he killed Ms Carroll. However, counsel said the prosecution case is that when Mr Nolan "put his hands on the throat and mouth of the deceased" he intended to kill or cause serious injury and is therefore guilty of murder rather than manslaughter.
Outlining the case Mr Costelloe said the deceased began a relationship with the accused about four months before her death. They had a "volatile" relationship, he said, "that seems to have arisen with excessive consumption of alcohol."
The trial continues this afternoon before Mr Justice Michael MacGrath and a jury of six men and six women. It is expected to last up to three weeks.