Baseball bat death: Plea of self defence

A 39-year-old man has gone on trial charged with murdering a 45-year-old man with a baseball bat in “broad daylight”.

Jooda Akanbi is charged with murdering Taiwo Jamani on November 13, 2013, on Main St, Swords, Co Dublin.

He is also charged with intentionally or recklessly causing serious harm to his fellow Nigerian native on October 10, 2013.

The Central Criminal Court heard the accused said his actions were in self defence.

Mr Akanbi of Ashton Ave, Applewood, in Swords has pleaded not guilty to both charges.

Denis Vaughan Buckley, prosecuting, opened the trial to the jurors, telling them that the incident in question happened on October 10, 2013, on Main St, Swords.

“It was in the nature of a very serious assault, we say allegedly committed by the accused,” he said.

“A large number of witnesses actually witnessed the incident, which took place in broad daylight, around 12.15pm.”

He said the prosecution case was that Mr Akanbi assaulted Mr Jamani and caused fatal injuries to him. He died in hospital on November 13 of that year.

“He received very severe head injuries, rendering him unconscious until he died in Beaumont Hospital,” the barrister explained.

“When you’ve heard all the evidence in the case, it’s the prosecution’s contention that the evidence is overwhelming, in favour of a guilty verdict,” he said.

He said the accused was still at the scene when gardaí arrived and found Mr Jamani lying injured next to the accused man’s BMW.

“The accused made a verbal admission to hitting him over the head with a baseball bat,” he explained, adding that he was arrested at the scene.

Mr Vaughan Buckley said there would be evidence that the deceased had approached the accused and that there was a confrontation on the road before the incident with the baseball bat.

“The deceased also got hold of a baseball bat. There were two,” he said.

The lawyer said that, when charged with assault causing harm, the accused had replied: “It was self defence.”

However, he drew the jury’s attention to the report of a doctor, who had examined Mr Akanbi at Coolock Garda Station following his arrest.

The doctor said that the accused had complained of soreness but that he found no swelling or bruising, just tenderness.

“So, the defence of self defence is a matter for you,” he said.

Mr Buckley said the post-mortem findings gave the cause of Mr Jamani’s death as blunt force trauma to the head leading to a severe injury to the brain.

He noted that Mr Jamani was, in fact, suffering from quite a severe heart condition and that this had been given as a contributing factor.

However, he said that the pathologist had found the brain injury would have proven lethal, independent of any co-existing disease.

The jurors were then shown a number of photographs taken at the scene, most of them by a Garda photographer. They were also shown three photographs taken by one of the witnesses on his iPhone.

The jury of five women and seven men will hear from this witness today, when the trial continues before Mr Justice Tony Hunt. It is expected to last two weeks.


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