Murder accused told gardaí he stabbed deceased three times, court told

By Alison O'Riordan

A man charged with murdering a father-of-one in north Dublin told gardaí that he stabbed the deceased in the side three times with a knife, his trial has heard.

The jury also heard the accused came to a garda station of his own will and told officers: “I was involved in the incident, the chap is dead now and I need to give him peace.”

Sergeant Patrick Traynor was giving evidence to the Central Criminal today on the third day of the 25-year-old’s trial.

Andrew Gibney of Dromheath Avenue, Mulhuddart, Dublin 15 has pleaded not guilty to murdering Gerard Burnett (28) at Castlecurragh Vale, Mulhuddart, Dublin 15 on August 21, 2012.

Sgt Traynor told prosecuting counsel Vincent Heneghan SC that he was on duty on August 28 when Mr Gibney and his father came into Blanchardstown Garda Station. They requested to speak to someone about the death of Mr Burnett, he said.

The witness agreed with Mr Heneghan that Mr Gibney said: “I was involved in the incident, the chap is dead now and I need to give him peace.”

Mr Gibney, who agreed that he had come to the garda station of his own free will, was then cautioned.

The accused told Sgt Traynor that he had a knife on the night of the incident and had used this knife on Mr Burnett by stabbing him "three times in the side".

Chief State Pathologist, Professor Marie Cassidy, yesterday gave evidence that she carried out a post-mortem on Mr Burnett's body on August 22, which had been found in the porch of his house at Castlecurragh Vale. Dr Cassidy told the court that there were 30 knife injuries to the deceased's body, the majority being stab wounds but only six stab wounds had deeply penetrated the skin. She

testified that these six stab wounds were to the right side of Mr Burnett's chest and had caused internal injuries to his right lung, heart and liver.

Sgt Traynor agreed with counsel that Mr Gibney’s father was present throughout their conversation.

When the accused was asked by Sgt Traynor if he wanted to add or change anything to his statement, he said: “No, I’m sorry to the family.”

Mr Gibney was then arrested for the offence of assault causing serious harm, the court heard.

Under cross examination by Giollaíosa Ó Lideadha SC, defending, Sgt Traynor agreed that Mr Gibney and his father were upset at the time.

The witness also agreed that Mr Gibney’s father had been away on holidays and when he came home he had found his son “in a ball", crying in his bedroom. The two men spoke and then went to

Blanchardstown Garda Station to make an admission, the court heard.

Earlier, the court heard that gardaí conducted a search at Mr Gibney’s home on August 27 and four kitchen knives were seized.

The trial continues tomorrow before Mr Justice Paul Butler and a jury of five men and seven women.

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