Jury is shown blood-stained evidence in murder trial

The jury in a murder trial at the Central Criminal Court has been shown the blood-stained carpet from the accused man’s bedroom.

Detective Garda Tom Power and a colleague unrolled the large exhibit and brought it to the jury box so the 12 members could see the blood spatters up close.

Ballistics expert Det Gda Power was giving evidence on the sixth day of the trial of a 51-year-old Slovakian man charged with murdering his Polish flatmate.

Josef Szabo of Rathlin House, Waterville, Blanchardstown has pleaded not guilty to murdering Robert Kwiatkowski on April 20, 2007, at their home in Rathlin House. The 33-year-old man died from a stab wound to the chest after his two other flatmates said they found him collapsed in the hallway.

The detective said he went to the apartment the morning after the killing and found the hallway covered in blood. There were shoeprints in the blood as well as blood spattering on the wall and skirting board. He also noticed a knife on the floor.

He said the tap was running in the bathroom sink, where he also saw some blood. There was blood on the floor mat, along with a sponge and a mobile phone.

He said there was blood on the kitchen sink, but no blood at all on the floor of the kitchen and living areas. One of the bedrooms was also clear of blood.

Det. Gda Power said he found blood on a duvet, sheet, carpet, curtain and door in the smaller bedroom. Part of the duvet was also shown to the jury, which had already heard that this was Mr Szabo’s room.

“There was damage to the wall at the door and small bits of plaster and paint on the floor at the door,” he added.

He agreed with Padraig Dwyer SC, defending, that he had no note of emptying the bins, but said if he hadn’t emptied them, another member of the technical team would have.

“For all we know, those bins could be full of empty bottles, cans or towels?” asked Mr Dwyer.

“That is correct,” replied the detective.

Detective Garda Alan Slevin of the Garda Technical Bureau’s fingerprint section said he took a number of mobile phones and knives from the apartment, including the knife found in the hall. This was the only knife returned to him for fingerprinting and he found no prints on it.

Paul Burns SC, prosecuting, read the statement of Detective Garda Aidan O’Brien, a mobile phone analyst.

He said that he examined a Sony Ericson mobile phone with blood on it. A call had been made from it to a person in its phonebook at 9.17pm on the day of the killing. The jury had already heard that the paramedics were in the apartment at that time.

The trial continues before Mr Justice Barry White and a jury of three women and nine men.

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