The prosecutor in a Dublin murder trial has told the jury that the accused was ‘spinning quite a web of a deceit’ when he said he acted in self defence.
Anthony Sammon SC was giving his closing speech in the trial of a Dublin man charged with murdering his life-long friend and causing serious injury to another man.
Martin Toland, of Walkinstown Park has pleaded not guilty to murdering 28-year-old Alan Nolan and seriously injuring James Carroll (now 32) at Cedar Brook Walk, Ballyfermot, Dublin on September 8, 2007.
The 36-year-old, who is missing half a lung, claims that he was acting in self-defence when he stabbed both men a number of times at Mr Nolan’s home. He said he was in fear for his life when they attacked him because, being on a blood thinner, he knew he could die from one bang to the head.
Mr Sammon told the Central Criminal Court jury that Mr Toland was a clever man, who decided early on what his defence would be.
“He made decisions in the immediate aftermath… that he would lay claim to the territory of self defence as his defence in the face of the predicament he found himself in,” he said.
“I suggest to you his version of events does not stand up and is not a truthful account,” he said.
He referred the seven women and five men of the jury to the contents of the 999 call they heard earlier in the trial.
“Two people are unconscious,” Mr Toland told the ambulance controller. “There’s two people after being stabbed.”
Mr Sammon said this was inconsistent with the defendant’s later statement to gardaí that he didn’t know if he had stabbed Mr Carroll.
“What I’m suggesting is that Mr Toland is spinning quite a web of deceit to cover up what happened,” said Mr Sammon.
Mr Sammon told the jury not to just accept Mr Toland’s assertion that the deceased had produced the knife. He said the only person who could make any other assertion was dead.
He referred them to the part of Mr Toland’s garda interview where he was asked how he had managed to get the knife from Mr Nolan.
“He’s not being very clear, is he, as to how he got the knife?” asked Mr Sammon. “When you examine the interviews, you find this as a constant; the answer doesn’t come. There’s a lot of equivocation and evasion of answering directly… It’s like watching a politician on television.”
Mr Sammon also questioned Mr Toland’s explanation that all but one of the wounds were inflicted when the three men tumbled down the stairs.
“Come off it,” said Mr Sammon. “This is a tissue of lies, invented glibly, and you can see the tale growing legs.”
Diarmaid McGuinness SC, defending Mr Toland has now begun his closing speech, which he will conclude tomorrow before Mr Justice Barry White.