70-year-old was acting in self-defence when he strangled partner to death, murder trial hears

Desmond Duffy. Picture: Collins Courts

By Eoin Reynolds

A 70-year-old man told gardaí he was acting in self-defence when he strangled his partner to death, his murder trial has heard.

Conor Devally SC opened the trial of Desmond Duffy at the Central Criminal Court, telling a jury of six men and six women that the accused and the deceased, Desmond Sullivan (aged 59), were essentially a married couple and shared a home at Somerville Park in Rathmines, Dublin 6.

On May 23, 2016, they had been drinking together and when they went home there was a row that ended with Mr Sullivan lying at the threshold of the kitchen and downstairs bathroom. Mr Duffy called a relative who is a garda and an investigation began.

Mr Devally said the accused suggested he was acting in self-defence, telling gardaí he was not the aggressor and that he fended off an attack by squeezing Mr Sullivan, strangling his airways and causing his death.

Mr Duffy has pleaded not guilty to Mr Sullivan's murder at their home on May 23, 2016.

The trial continues in front of the jury and Justice Paul McDermott.

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