A man stabbed 28 times before escaping from the boot of a car that was pushed into a canal near the Battle of the Boyne site, has told a Central Criminal Court jury that he thought he was going to die.
Paul Crosby (23) of Rathmullen Park in Drogheda has gone on trial for the attempted murder of Gerard Boyle (33) at Knockcommon, Beauparc, Slane, Co Meath on November 10, 2016.
Mr Crosby is also charged with falsely imprisoning and intentionally or recklessly causing serious harm to Mr Boyle on the same occasion.
Arraigned before a jury at the Central Criminal Court today, Mr Crosby pleaded not guilty to all counts.
Opening the prosecution’s case, Patrick Gageby SC told the jury that Gerard Boyle lived in the suburbs of Drogheda and sometime in March 2016, the windows of his home were broken.
Some seven months later, on the date in question, Mr Gageby said the accused arrived at Mr Boyle’s home, asking him to go for a “chat”. They got into a Ford car, in which there were two other people, before there was a change of car.
Mr Gageby said three people - Mr Boyle, Mr Crosby and another person - got into a Volkswagen Passat. Mr Crosby was initially driving but then he asked Mr Boyle to take over.
Giving evidence to Mr Gageby, for the prosecution, Mr Boyle said he had just gotten into third gear, when he felt a tap on his arm. He thought it was Mr Crosby tapping him, but it was a knife “in my neck”.
Mr Boyle said he couldn’t see the knife and nothing was being said.
He said the knife came to him about six times - to his shoulder, back of his neck and back of his head.
He said his seat was pulled back and he put his hands up to stop himself being stabbed in the neck.
He said Paul Crosby had gloves on at this point although he could only see the accused’s left hand.
He said he “asked him to stop and said I’d pay him 10 thousand if he stopped,” that he was “going to kill me”. But there was no reply.
Mr Boyle said the car was stopped and he was pulled onto the road. He said blood was coming from his hands, head, chest, shoulder and back. He was in shock, shaking on the ground and “curled up in a ball”.
“I tried to walk and told him please don’t do it again,” the witness said.
He said Paul Crosby pulled him up off the ground and asked him to get into the boot of the car.
Mr Boyle said he was told he would be brought to hospital and Paul Crosby “swore on his mother’s life he’d let me back out”.
He said he couldn’t see anything in the boot but it “smelled of petrol”.
While in the boot, he said he couldn’t breathe and had to hold his chest to stop the blood from coming out. “I thought I was going to die,” he added.
“Paul said just go asleep, we’re going to the hospital,” Mr Boyle said.
He said he was no longer than 15 minutes in the boot. At some stage, he felt the car tilting as if it was going down a hill and then the sensation of floating. He said he turned on his back and kicked the seat forward which opened a gap small enough to pop the clip and push the backseat forward.
He said he got out of the car and held onto the door. He said he could see where he was - “I was at the Battle of the Boyne” - and swam onto the bank. He said he had no t-shirt, jumper or shoes on as he flagged a number of cars for help.
Mr Boyle said he sustained 28 stab wounds, two punctured lungs as well as nerve damage to his left leg and foot.
He told Mr Gageby that he spent two weeks in hospital and that he had recovered although he still had no feeling in his heel or achilles due to nerve damage.
Mr Boyle will continue giving evidence tomorrow before a jury of nine men and three women, with Ms Justice Carmel Stewart presiding.