Man died in 'violent and frenzied' knife attack, pathologist tells murder trial

Man died in 'violent and frenzied' knife attack, pathologist tells murder trial
Shane Murphy

A man died when a knife pierced his heart during a "violent and frenzied" attack, a pathologist has told a murder trial.

Deputy State Pathologist Dr Linda Mulligan said she identified 23 stab wounds plus scrapes and bruises on Shane Murphy's body and arms.

As well as the fatal wound to his heart he suffered injuries to his lungs, throat and liver and defence wounds to his hands.

Ger Hogan (aged 34) of Raheen Square, Ballinacurra Weston and Dylan Hayes (aged 22) of The Crescent, Kilteragh, Dooradoyle, Co Limerick have pleaded not guilty to the murder of 26-year-old Shane Murphy at The Grove, Pallasgreen, Co Limerick on April 30, 2015.

Dylan Hayes
Dylan Hayes

Dr Mulligan told prosecuting counsel Paul Burns SC that the cause of death was the wound to the heart, with the other stab wounds contributing.Twenty-two of the stab wounds were "obviously" caused by a single edged knife while the other one was "most likely" caused by a knife, but may have been caused by the tip of a screwdriver.

The trial has already heard that gardai found a blood-stained screwdriver at the scene which, when tested, had the deceased's blood on it and the blood of the accused man Ger Hogan.

The pathologist agreed with Mark Nicholas SC, defending Dylan Hayes, that the injuries suggested a "violent and frenzied attack".

Speaking to Michael Bowman SC, acting for Ger Hogan, she agreed that the knife used would be consistent with a steak knife.

She said some of the scrapes that she saw could have been caused by a screwdriver but they were also consistent with a knife.

The jury also heard from interviews given by the two accused men to gardaí the day after Mr Murphy lost his life.

Detective Garda John O'Connell told prosecuting counsel Diarmuid Collins BL that Mr Hayes was interviewed eight times at Henry St Garda Station in Limerick.

During the seventh interview Mr Hayes told gardaí that he disliked Shane Murphy because Mr Murphy had called him a "junkie" and accused him of "goofing off", which he said means being stoned on heroin.

He said a row started and he took a knife which he used to stab Mr Murphy. When gardaí asked where he stabbed Mr Murphy he pointed to his stomach and chest and said: "I stabbed him there and there."

Later in the interview he told gardaí: "I didn't kill him."

Sgt Michael Reidy said that he was present for interviews with Ger Hogan at Roxboro Road Garda Station on May 1, 2015.

He agreed with Mr Collins that in those interviews gardaí told Mr Hogan that witnesses had said that he and another man stabbed Shane Murphy and Mr Hogan responded: "I tried to break up a fight."

He said he had no reason to fight Mr Murphy as they "got on so well". He also said Mr Murphy was "sound".

When gardaí asked him how he received a cut on his hand, he said he got it when he tried to pull a knife out of someone. Mr Hogan said that when he pulled out the knife he received a headbutt but he couldn't remember from whom.

The trial continues tomorrow in front of Justice Patrick McCarthy and a jury of five women and seven men at the Central Criminal Court tomorrow.

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