Closing arguments in McCabe murder case

A jury at the trial of a Cavan man accused of murder has been sent home for the night having been deliberating for less than an hour in the Central Criminal Court today.

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

It is the State’s case that Mr McCabe shot Mr McGrath twice in the head at close range as he slept.

Earlier, the jury heard closing speeches from both the prosecution and the defence.

Anthony Sammon SC, prosecuting, told the jury this was "a who dunnit case".

During the trial the court had heard from Nicole Lennon (aged 21), the deceased’s partner, who positively identified the accused as the assailant.

Mr Sammon said: "There is an immediate identification of Trevor McCabe that is very significant.

"There is no hesitancy about it. He is familiar to her he has been around her house before."

Also, during the trial the court heard an Adidas jacket and a pair of green camouflage combat trousers were found in a bag left in a Spar shop in Dromore, Co Tyrone, the evening after the alleged murder.

Mr Sammon told the jury the bag was "very rich in forensic terms" and traced the Adidas jacket back to the deceased and the combat trousers to the accused.

He said it was "of great importance that gunshot residue was found in the bag".

Peter Finlay SC, defending, told the jury the evidence in the case did not establish the guilt of the accused "at all".

He said: "You are being asked to find a man guilty of murder based on this evidence. This is not television, it's real life."

During the trial, the court had heard evidence from Patrick McKiernan, who was with the accused on the morning of the shooting.

Mr McKiernan had told the court he had been drinking heavily and he fell asleep in Mr McCabe’s car. When he woke he said he saw the accused leaving the deceased’s house carrying a shotgun.

Mr Finlay said Mr McKiernan had it ‘’all worked out’’ and his story was ‘’very convenient’’.

"Mr McKiernan was familiar with firearms and his DNA was found on the Adidas jacket and in the car," he said.

Referring to the Adidas jacket, Mr Finlay told the jury the DNA of the accused had not been found "on the famous jacket that was involved in the shooting".

He said: "It is just as likely other people were involved in this and Trevor McCabe was not one of them."

The jury will resume its deliberations tomorrow.


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