Court hears DNA evidence after judge 'reluctantly' excludes murder accused from his own trial

Court hears DNA evidence after judge 'reluctantly' excludes murder accused from his own trial
Vesel Jahiri

A fingermark made by a man on trial accused of murdering his former partner was found on the same bloodstained knife that also yielded the deceased's DNA, a jury has heard.

Detective Garda James Cunningham, from the Garda Technical Bureau, today gave evidence in the trial of Vesel Jahiri at the Central Criminal Court.

Mr Jahiri (aged 35), originally from Kosovo but of no fixed abode, has pleaded not guilty to murdering Anna Finnegan (aged 25) at Allendale Glen, Clonsilla, Dublin 15 on September 21, 2012.

He has also pleaded not guilty to assaulting Karl Finnegan, causing him harm, at the same place on the same date.

Mr Jahiri previously dismissed his legal team and was representing himself at the trial.

Yesterday, Mr Justice Paul Coffey told the accused that he was “abusing” his position during his cross-examination of witnesses and was “throwing out allegations like confetti”.

This morning, Mr Justice Coffey “very reluctantly” excluded Mr Jahiri from his own trial.

The judge said this was “a very unusual situation” but the accused’s man’s right to be present at his trial was not “an absolute right” and he had to be willing to abide by procedure.

Det Gda Cunningham told prosecution counsel Mr Patrick Marrinan SC that he was attached to the Fingerprint Section of the Garda Technical Bureau.

The witness said he attended Anna Finnegan’s post mortem where he took her finger and palm prints.

Det Gda Cunningham agreed with counsel that he had examined a lot of exhibits from Allendale Glen in the investigation.

He agreed that in circumstances where the accused had lived at Allendale Glen that one would expect to find his fingerprints on objects in the house.

Det Gda Cunningham said he received Karl Finnegan’s and Mr Jahiri’s fingerprints for comparison purposes.

The witness said he also examined a black-handled knife in order to develop finger and palm marks on it.

Det Gda Cunningham said when he visually examined the knife he could not find anything on it.

He said he then used a treatment which developed “one fingermark” on the knife’s blade.

Det Gda Cunningham said he analysed the fingermark on the knife by comparing it with sets of fingerprints belonging to Vesel Jahiri, Anna Finnegan and Karl Finnegan.

“As a result I have no doubt that the mark on the blade was made by the left forefinger of Vesel Jahiri,” he said.

Det Gda Cunningham said he found no other fingerprints on the knife and there was no evidence that the knife had been wiped.

The witness told the court that just because one handles something does not mean one is going to leave their fingermarks behind on it.

Det Gda Cunningham added that there was “ridge detail” on the other side of the knife’s blade but he could not attribute this to anyone.

Forensic scientist, Dr Hilary Clarke, previously gave evidence in the trial that DNA matching that of Anna Finnegan was found on this black-handled kitchen knife.

Dr Clarke said she took two swabs from two areas of light blood-staining on the black-handled kitchen knife.

She said that both DNA profile’s obtained from blood-staining on the tip of the blade and the edge of the knife matched Anna Finnegan’s profile.

The court earlier heard that Mr Jahiri brought this knife to Cabra Garda station on the night after the alleged attack.

He removed this black-handled kitchen knife from the pocket of his jacket and placed it on a table.

Opening the prosecution case to a jury five weeks ago, Mr Marrinan said that Mr Jahiri and Anna Finnegan were in a relationship for about 10 years and had two children together.

However, their relationship “turned sour” prior to September 2012 and they ended up separating. It is alleged that Mr Jahiri stabbed Ms Finnegan to death after he “battered” down her front door and attacked her and her brother.

The trial continues before Mr Justice Coffey and a jury of nine men and two women.

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