Jury told to be analytical, cold in teen deaths trial

THE jury in a trial related to the death of two teenagers on the road in Knocknaheeny last May was invited by the prosecution yesterday to take the view that the deaths were caused by the joint driving of the two accused.

However, Padraig Dwyer, senior counsel for Philip Murphy, 40, of 58 Killala Gardens, Knocknaheeny, Cork, submitted to the jury: “I say the driving of Mr Simms in itself was enough to bring about the deaths... Mr Simms from the very outset was just out for trouble and to cause trouble.

“You have heard a lot of talk about a feud. Has there been one bit of evidence to say that Philip Murphy ever behaved in an aggressive manner to anyone?”

In relation to what happened in the seconds before the fatal collision, Mr Dwyer said of Murphy, “He never deliberately rammed this vehicle.”

Murphy and James Simms, 27, of Adelaide Terrace, Cork, both deny dangerous driving on Friday, May 14, on Harbour View Road causing the death of CJ Dolan, 16, and Derry O’Callaghan, 19.

Paul Greene, senior counsel for Simms, said: “What happened to CJ Dolan and Derry O’Callaghan? The rear passenger side (of the car driven by Simms) is what took the brunt of the impact (with the wall) because of the car being rotated in a clockwise direction. Why did that happen? Because it was rear-ended by the other car.”

Mr Greene also said, “What is the prosecution case against James Simms? As I understand it, they say a number of gardaí observed him driving too fast, making a right-hand turn, one or two of them suggest losing control. They are giving evidence about what they saw in the blink of an eye. Excessive speed alone is not sufficient evidence on its own to sustain a charge of dangerous driving causing death.”

In relation to the events before the Mondeo crashed with two teenage passengers killed, Mr Greene said: “What you can be certain of is that it was shunted into. It was effectively not travelling of its own volition.”

On behalf of the prosecution, Jane Hyland, barrister, referred the jury to evidence from gardaí in the general area on the night of the accident that the two cars were travelling at a speed of between 100km/h and 120km/h at a time when the Golf driven by Murphy was 10 metres behind the Mondeo driven by Simms.

Ms Hyland BL referred to eye witness evidence by Pamela Horgan in Hollywood estate that she felt that as the Mondeo was trying to turn it was not going to make it around the corner because of the speed it was travelling.

Ms Hyland referred to the fact that Murphy was barely able to see as he had driven his Golf with a smashed windscreen for a distance estimated by mapping expert, Garda Alan Foley, at 2.6km before the collision.

“I ask you to take the view it was their joint driving that caused the deaths of those men.”

Judge Patrick J Moran began his address to the jury yesterday and told them to disregard anything they heard during the trial about false imprisonment or a threat to cause criminal damage to a house and that such issues formed no part of the case.

The judge also told them to put aside any feelings they might have for the families of the deceased and that they had to be cold and analytical in reaching their conclusions.

“You have heard about feuds: put it aside, it has nothing to do with any case. You have heard of car-chasing and matters like that. Do not let any prejudice you might have interfere with your judgment,” Judge Moran said.

The judge will continue his summing up of the case for the jury today.

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