The prosecution has said a 59-year-old homeless man suffered a particularly horrible death trapped head down in a rubbish chute - but the defence said the accused believed the victim would fall through the chute into a bin.
These prosecution and defence claims were made during closing speeches on the ninth day of a murder trial yesterday at the Central Criminal Court sitting in Cork.
Ms Justice Tara Burns will address the jury of seven women and five men on Monday and they will commence their deliberations. David O’Loughlin of Garden City Apartments, North Main Street, Cork, denies murdering Liam Manley, 59, at Garden City Apartments on May 12 2013.
Patrick McGrath prosecution senior counsel told the jury in his closing submissions: “There is no doubt that the death resulted from his actions in putting the man in the chute. There is no doubt that as a result of his actions he suffered a particularly horrible death.
“There was no justification for his actions. He did not suggest he could justify it by self-defence or provocation. He repeatedly lied to gardaí in the course of interviews. He played cat and mouse and only (made comments) as and when matters occurred to him and suited him.
“There is no doubt he punched this man for no reason and forcefully a number of times. When he was interviewed he accepted that Mr Manley never threatened him, never assaulted him and that none of the other people in the apartment ever threatened or assaulted the late Mr Manley and that he accepted responsibility himself for all the altercations with the late Mr Manley on the night in question.”
Mr McGrath said the jury could be satisfied beyond reasonable doubt that the accused committed murder. He said there were three possible outcomes after Mr Manley was put in the chute. He could have crawled through and broken his neck and suffered severe injuries when he eventually fell through; he could have fallen straight through and died or suffered serious injuries or he could have become trapped head down and died as a result.
Michael O’Higgins senior counsel for the defence said his client was no saint and that what he did on the night in question was morally repugnant and legally objectionable and that his actions constituted a criminal assault.
“You will not hear a single utterance that seeks to justify or suggest that in some way Liam Manley invited what was visited on him on the night. What he did was morally repugnant and without justification.
“There is no doubt he put him down the chute, there is no doubt there was no justification for that act. It is not in doubt that he got blocked in the chute. It is not in doubt that he died as a result of being in the chute. So why could there be an issue about causation?
“The defence case is that David O’Loughlin put him into the chute and believed he would pass through the chute and land in the bin at the bottom… That is the plan he was executing but unknown to him the plan he set about to achieve was thwarted and doomed to failure due to other persons – and I am not suggesting any wrong on their part but their actions had blocked the chute by throwing rubbish in. So what he (the accused) set out to achieve was not achievable.”
Mr O’Higgins was critical of witness David O’Mahony who testified about being in the apartment when the accused allegedly assaulted the deceased. Mr O’Higgins described him as a toxic witness putting the accused in the worst possible light and himself in a good light.