Timothy O’Driscoll, aged 34, from 12, St Rita’s Avenue, Gurranabraher, Cork, has pleaded not guilty to a charge of murdering Lee McCarthy, aged 25, at 12, St Rita’s Avenue on April 17.
Brendan Grehan SC, for the prosecution, raised the issue of the witness account in his opening of the case against O’Driscoll in front of Mr Justice Paul Carney and a jury of six men and six women at the Central Criminal Court, sitting in Cork yesterday.
Mr Grehan said the prosecution would be calling pathologist Dr Margaret Bolster during the trial, and she would state that her main finding was of six stab wounds to Mr McCarthy’s neck and back.
Two of the neck wounds penetrated major blood vessels. Incised wounds to the palm of Mr McCarthy’s hand were consistent with having been sustained in defence. Evidence of blunt force trauma to the neck was also found.
Mr Grehan said Mr McCarthy’s body was found in a shed at the back of the house when gardaí and ambulance personnel were alerted after 6am on April 17. O’Driscoll was in the house at the time.
Mr Grehan said O’Driscoll told gardaí he woke to hear his mother shouting, that he saw a man in his mother’s room, and caught him by the neck, pulled him out of his mother’s room and pushed him down the stairs.
“I am sure he was on drugs, his eyes looked fucked,” O’Driscoll told gardaí.
“He pulled a knife on me. He was bleeding. I pushed him into the shed. I blacked out. I suffer from mental disorders,” he said, adding that he never saw the deceased before this incident, according to Mr Grehan’s outline of the prosecution’s evidence.
Mr Grehan said a very important witness, Stephen Monaghan, “gave an account of events to gardaí that was at variance with the account given by O’Driscoll, of disturbing a burglary at his mother’s house.
“Effectively, he [Mr Monaghan] gives an account of himself, the accused and the deceased getting a taxi from town back to Mr O’Driscoll’s house at 12, St Rita’s Avenue.
“He will say that at a certain stage he [the accused] became agitated and effectively attacked the deceased.
“Mr McCarthy was grabbed. There was an attempt to strangle him. He was then kicked. Then that Mr O’Driscoll got a sharp object and stuck it into Mr McCarthy’s arms.”
Mr Grehan said that Mr Monaghan told gardaí that he left the house at that stage.
The jury was told that O’Driscoll told gardaí in later interviews that after putting a burglar out of the house, he was covered in blood, panicked and threw his clothes and shoes in a washing machine.
“Ambulance men will describe seeing a trail of blood to the back yard leading to a shed,” said Mr Grehan.
“When they went in they found a young man. He was the deceased, Lee McCarthy. There was a lot of blood and a knife close to the body, under the body.”
Liam O’Reilly, an ambulance paramedic, testified yesterday: “I saw a pool of blood coming from under the door of the shed. A man was lying on his right-hand side. His head was very bloody, there was a severe wound to his neck. We did not know if it was one long wound. There were no vital signs.”
The trial, which is expected to last at least two weeks, will continue today.