Murder jury urged to consider 'silent witnesses'

The jury in the Central Criminal Court trial of a Dublin man accused of the murder of Adel Essalhi have been urged to consider the evidence of a number of “silent witnesses” in the case.

Closing speeches were heard in the trial of Wayne Kinsella (aged 40), with an address at The Plaza, Tyrrelstown, but who is originally from Finglas, who has pleaded not guilty to the murder of Mr Essalhi (aged 31) in the fields behind the Plaza in Tyrrelstown, Blanchardstown, on January 6, 2011.

Counsel for the prosecution, Mr Alex Owens SC, told the jury that the striking thing about the case was the number of what he termed “silent witnesses” involved, which included forensic evidence that clothing taken from the body of Adel Essalhi had been burned and bleached.

He said this was important because of evidence that Wayne Kinsella had voluntarily gotten in to a garda patrol car, acted in an “eccentric” manner and told two detectives that if they were to find the bleached and burned body of the killer of his brother Lee, they could “come looking” for him.

Mr Owens suggested it was not merely a coincidence that Adel Essalhi’s body was found burned and bleached in a cornfield, and such evidence very strongly pointed to the guilt of the accused man Wayne Kinsella.

He said that the results of the post mortem acted as another “silent witness”, as the examination found the both a sharp pointed knife and a machete-like object had been used to kill Mr Essalhi.

Mr Owens said that if there two weapons used in the attack, it followed that there two killers and the prosecution contended that the two people involved were Wayne Kinsellla and his relative.

He said that CCTV footage from Tyrrelstown on the night of January 6 captured within the space of 30 minutes three unidentified men walking out of the apartment complex in the direction of the field where Adel Essalhi’s body was eventually found, and only two returning.

Mr Owens said the jury were entitled to balance this against the evidence of key witnesses Martina Deegan, Jemma Deegan and Natasha Carey, who all testified that three people left the apartment on the night of January 6 and only two had returned.

He said the actions of Wayne Kinsella in directing gardai to the location of the body of Adel Essalhi was the “conduct of a manipulator” trying to “fool the gardai” that he was an informant in relation to other people involved in the alleged murder when he was involved himself.

He said that on “any view” of the evidence Wayne Kinsella participated in the alleged murder, and participated directly in it.

Mr Owens told the jury that they “must make allowances” for a number of witnesses in the case, whom he said lived on the margins of society and had problems with alcohol and drugs.

He asked the jury whether they would go to the guards or consider their loyalties to other people if they had assisted in cleaning up two people who appeared at their house looking like they had been in an “abattoir”, and who may be “very scary people”.

However, Mr Owens said that there did not appear to be any deliberate arrangement between the witnesses to keep Wayne Kinsella’s relative out of their accounts.

He said that Wayne Kinsella was “always the man in the case” and asked the jury to consider whether the witness testimony of these witnesses did not tie in with the evidence of the “silent witnesses” in the case.

Counsel for the defence, Mr Michael O’Higgins SC, said he was not surprised that the State had spoken “again and again” about “silent witnesses”, as the prosecution must have hoped the living witnesses would “shut up” given the more they had to say “the less attractive it became”.

He said it had been established beyond a doubt that key witnesses Martina Deegan, Jemma Deegan and David Kinghorne were “calculating” and “skilled” liars who presented a version of events contrived in a particular way to protect the people they like and “dump on” those that they do not.

Mr O’Higgins suggested to the jury that the evidence as supplied by these witnesses was “toxic” and should be approached “only with the greatest caution”.

He said the jury must ask whether it was a coincidence that a number of witnesses decided to omit the name of Wayne Kinsella’s relative from the events of January 6 and suggested that the odds of them spontaneously doing so “must be lotto odds”.

Mr O’Higgins told the jury that Wayne Kinsella was charged with murder within 24 hours of his arrest, yet 14 months later the Director of Public Prosecutions has not laid any charge against Wayne Kinsella’s relative because Mr O’Higgins submitted “they don’t know what to do”.

He said that, as the State was telling the jury that based on the evidence they could find the accused man guilty beyond a reasonable doubt, he would like to know what is it they had that the “DPP up in Merrion Street” does not.

Mr O’Higgins asked whether the actions of Mr Kinsella in helping gardai find a machete and white jumper connected to the case on the basis that he might not get a life sentence in prison were the actions of a murderer, adding that there was “huge room” for doubt in this regard.

He also told the jury that if witness accounts were to believed, there should have been a cornucopia of findings for a forensic lab to work with, yet there did not appear to be any forensic link made out between the alleged crime, the accused man Wayne Kinsella and the apartment in Tyrrelstown.

The trial resumes tomorrow morning when it is expected Mr Justice Garrett Sheehan will commence his charge to the jury of five men and seven women.

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