Cavan man found guilty of murder

A Cavan man has been found guilty of the murder of a 33-year-old father of one by a jury at the Central Criminal Court today.

The jury of eight women and four men had been deliberating since Thursday, for seven hours and 25 minutes, before returning their majority verdict of 10 to two.

Trevor McCabe (aged 35), of Mountpleasant, Ballyconnell, Co Cavan, pleaded not guilty to murdering Darren McGrath (aged 33) in Belturbet, Co. Cavan on May 20, 2008.

The court had previously heard this was a retrial after the first jury failed to reach a verdict and were discharged last year.

It was the prosecution's case that Mr McCabe shot Mr McGrath twice in the head as he lay in bed asleep.

During the 10-day trial, the court heard Nicole Lennon (aged 21), the fiancé of the deceased and mother of his child, had woken to find a gunman in her bedroom and witnessed him shoot Mr McGrath twice in the head as he slept beside her.

Ms Lennon said she heard a bang and then the man leaned over her to get closer before firing the second shot.

She pointed at the accused in court and said; "It was him. I don’t want to look at him but it was him."

Darren Murphy, a neighbour of the deceased, told the court he saw two men running from Mr McGrath’s house.

He said: "I saw two people running around the wall and the second person had a bad limp on the left side."

The court had heard the accused was involved in a road traffic accident in 2007 in which his left leg was badly injured.

Patrick McKiernan (aged 34), gave evidence that he had spent the afternoon before the shooting with the accused drinking on a boat in Lough Erne, near Enniskillen, Co. Fermanagh.

He told the court he had been drinking heavily and he fell asleep in Mr McCabe’s car; when he woke he realised he was outside Darren McGrath’s house.

He said: "I met Trevor coming down the stairs and he said: 'Get out',"

Mr McKiernan said the accused was carrying a "short shotgun" when he was leaving the house.

The court had heard that a bag containing items of clothing, including a pair of green combat trousers and an Adidas jacket, had been left at a Spar shop in Dromore, Co Tyrone the evening after the shooting.

DNA from the accused and firearm residue was found on the combat trousers but the accused could not be linked to the Adidas jacket.

The jury were shown CCTV footage from a Lakeside Filling Station in Enniskillen, Co. Tyrone, recorded two hours before the shooting, which showed a man walking with a limp and wearing clothing similar to that found in the bag in Dromore.

The man recorded in the footage was identified by Det Gda Paul Cullen as Trevor McCabe.

Mr Justice Barry White thanked the jury for the attentive manner with which they had dealt with the case and excused then from further jury service for life.

Mr McCabe was remanded in custody until next Monday when he will be formally sentenced.


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