Blood trail led garda to find accused hiding behind shelving unit

A trail of blood led gardaí from the body of a man stabbed in his neck to the home of his suspected killer, who was hiding behind furniture, a court has heard.

David Brannock, aged 23, of St Joseph’s Way, Ballymun, is charged with murdering Jason Flannery, causing serious harm to John O’Neill, and assault causing harm to Mr Flannery’s daughter, Jade Byrne; son, Anthony Byrne, and their mother, Claire Byrne.

Mr Brannock has pleaded not guilty to all five offences on September 13, 2012 at St Joseph’s Way, Poppintree.

The trial has heard Jade Byrne had got into an argument with Mr Brannock the night before.

Sergeant Patrick Whelan testified yesterday he arrived on St Joseph’s Way shortly after 4.15am.

He saw the deceased lying on the footpath, along with a silver crutch and speckles of blood leading away from his body. “As I followed the trail, it brought me to the front door of [the accused man’s home],” he said.

“I believed another person may have been injured. I knocked on the door.”

He said Mr Brannock’s father opened the door and he could see blood in the hallway. The garda was allowed in and followed the trail of blood into the kitchen.

“I saw a foot inside the [adjoining] sitting room, which was in darkness. I walked in, turned on my Garda torch and found the accused, David Brannock, behind a shelving unit, crouched down, hiding.”

He said that he asked the accused what he was doing. “He told me he was fixing the shelf.” Somebody turned on the light and he saw injuries to Mr Brannock’s head and hand as well as blood on his clothing.

Earlier, the court heard Mr Flannery died of a stab wound to his upper cervical spinal cord, with two stab wounds to his stomach a contributing factor.

The trial continues.

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