A man has been acquitted of a taxi driver’s manslaughter over two years ago.
William Keegan, aged 27, of Pearse House, Pearse St, Dublin, had pleaded not guilty at Dublin Circuit Criminal Court to the unlawful killing of Moses Ayanwole, aged 41, on Pearse St on November 23, 2011.
The jury spent four hours deliberating over two days before returning the unanimous not guilty verdict.
Judge Desmond Hogan thanked the jury members for their care and attention, noting that this case had been “very emotional”.
He commended them for dealing with the trial within the legal principles he had outlined to them. One juror was visibly upset as she left the courtroom.
Judge Hogan told Mr Keegan, who was also in tears, that he was free to go.
Mr Keegan said in interview that he and four others had decided to get a taxi from a Pearse St pub into the city centre, but Mr Ayanwole would not take five passengers. Mr Keegan said he was left behind in the car as the others in his group jumped out.
He said he thought Mr Ayanwole was pursuing him across the road after he got out of the car because he wanted money for a fare, even though the vehicle had not moved. “If I didn’t hit him, he would have hit me. He was not getting out of the taxi for nothing.”
Det Garda Mark Looby told Maurice Coffey, prosecuting, that Mr Keegan asked about Mr Ayanwole’s age and family during interview. Det Garda Looby said Mr Ayanwole had still been alive when the accused was questioned.
He said Mr Keegan told him: “I’ll say a prayer. I hope he pulls through.”
The former deputy state pathologist, Dr Khalid Jaber, told Mr Coffey that the cause of death was serious, significant brain damage. He said this was from a blunt force trauma to the head, which caused Mr Ayanwole to fall backwards from a standing position.
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