Fermoy murder trial witness heard a lot of roaring and shouting, court told

Fermoy murder trial witness heard a lot of roaring and shouting, court told
Gardaí at the scene of the incident in Fermoy in 2017. Pic: Denis Minihane.

An eyewitness in the Fermoy murder trial testified today seeing two men on the ground at the Amber Service Station in Fermoy being struck by another pair standing over them with what looked like iron bars.

The evidence came in the testimony of Liam Byrnes, a truck driver from Castleblayney, Co Monaghan, who said he witnessed an incident when he was on a rest break at the filling station on February 21, 2017.

Tomasz Wasowicz, 45, and Marcin Skrzypezyk, 31, are on trial charged with the murder of Ludovit Pasztor, 40, at the filling station at Carrrignagroghera.

Wasowicz also faces the additional charge of being in possession of a weapon, namely a stun-gun at the same date and place.

The trial will go into a second week on Tuesday next, before Ms Justice Carmel Stewart and a jury of eight men and four women.

Mr Byrnes told prosecution senior counsel, Siobhán Lankford, he was alerted by shouting and roaring.

He saw two men beating another two men with what appeared to be iron bars.

The men being struck were lying on the ground at the time.

“I heard a lot of roaring and shouting and I looked up to see what was happening.

I just saw two men on the ground and two men standing over them with what looked like bars, hitting them.

"One fellow was a taller fellow and the other was a small, round, butty fellow,” the witness testified.

Mr Byrnes did not identify the parties involved in the altercation saying that it was dark in the parking area at the back of the filling station.

The scene of the incident in Fermoy in 2017.
The scene of the incident in Fermoy in 2017.

He could not make out the faces of the two men with the bars. But he testified the smaller man was wearing shorts.

When the incident was over, he saw them leave and get back into the cabs of two Macroom Haulage trucks.

As the two men got into the trucks, he saw one of the other men getting up off the ground and. He said this man was stumbling as if dazed. The man began to make a phone call at that point, Mr Byrnes said.

Around the same time, he also heard what he described as the “clanging of an iron bar hopping of the ground”.

Mr Byrnes rang his employer and told him what he had seen and his employer advised he should ring Fermoy Garda Station.

Shortly afterwards, he saw an ambulance arrive at the scene along with several Garda patrol cars as it was cordoned off as a crime scene.

Mr Byrnes was cross-examined by Tim O’Leary SC for Wasowicz. The witness agreed with the suggestion he only looked up when he heard roaring and shouting and that he may have missed much of what happened beforehand.

He accepted that he did not know how blows had been struck but he agreed with Mr O’Leary it might have been one blow.

Mr Byrnes was also cross-examined by Tom Creed SC for Skrzpezyk.

Mr Creed submitted the jury would hear evidence from a pathologist that the late Mr Pasztor died from a single blow to the head which knocked him to the ground so he could not have seen Mr Pasztor being hit on the ground.

He replied: “I could see two men with what looked like iron bars in their hands beating two other men. I Just saw people on the ground being beaten. I can’t say how many blows.”

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