LATEST: Murder accused insists he had to use force

Update 3.55pm: A man accused of murdering a man in a row over the breeding of Chihuahuas insists he had to use force to defend his friend.

Wayne Cluskey and his friend Josh Turner, both of Mooretown in Ratoath, Co. Meath, have pleaded NOT guilty to the murder of Christopher Nevin.

Christopher Nevin died from injuries sustained outside his friend’s house in Navan in November 2015. Both Josh Turner and Wayne Cluskey admit striking him with an axe.

The prosecution opened its case on the basis that Christopher Nevin was unarmed, but an eye witness later said he had a hatchet.

On behalf of Mr Cluskey, Shane Costelloe told the jury this afternoon that his client grabbed an axe when he saw his friend being confronted by Mr Nevin – a man he knew had previously served time for a serious assault.

In his closing address, he said he had an honestly held belief that he needed to use force to defend his friend and that the force used was proportionate.

He also denied there was any agreement between them to kill or cause serious injury to Mr. Nevin and invited the jurors to acquit.

His co-accused claims he was provoked and completely lost control. The jury is due to begin its deliberations tomorrow.

Earlier:

The barrister for one of two men accused of murdering a man in Navan in a row over the breeding of chihuahuas has asked the jury to get rid of the suggestion he planned to kill him.

Josh Turner and Wayne Cluskey, who are both from Mooretown in Ratoath, Co Meath, deny murdering Christopher Nevin at Tailteann Road in Navan.

Christopher’s best friend Wayne Casserly gave evidence of Josh knocking on the door of his home on Nov 19, 2015 and under cross examination, he admitted that Christopher had armed himself with a hatchet before going outside.

During his closing address on behalf of Mr Turner this afternoon, Patrick Marrinan said his client’s case is that he “flipped and completely lost control”.

He said he was not advancing the case of self-defence or provocation so that his client could walk free from court, but rather it was about dealing with degrees of guilt.

He said he was concerned about CCTV footage shown during the trial and described it as “inconclusive”.

He asked the jurors to get rid of the suggestion that what happened was pre-meditated.

Would we be here now if Mr Nevin had not brought the axe out, he asked.

The jurors will soon hear the closing speech from counsel for Wayne Cluskey.


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