Jury told murder accused acted in self-defence

The jury in the trial of a man charged with murdering a father of three has been asked to acquit him of murder and convict him of manslaughter by reason of self defence.

Jury told murder accused acted in self-defence

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

Mr Brannock has pleaded not guilty to all five offences in the early hours of September 13, 2012 at St Joseph’s Way, Poppintree.

The Central Criminal Court trial has heard Jade Byrne got into an argument with Mr Brannock the night before, during her Junior Certificate result celebrations. The argument ended in a violent confrontation in the early hours of September 13.

Dominic McGinn, prosecuting, in his closing speech said the real question in the case was why the accused returned to the Byrne/Flannery home in nearby Cairn Court, having been thrown out.

“That second visit acted as the catalyst for five members of that house to go out and chase him.

“He lured them back to St Joseph’s Way, where he set about assaulting each and every one of them.”

He said a true verdict would be guilty on all five counts.

Patrick Gageby, defending, argued that his client had acted in self defence.

He reminded the jury that Jason Flannery and his son, Anthony Byrne, had taken a crutch each from their home when they left to chase the accused.

“They were chasing him around a car with a view to doing what?” he asked. “Reading him a lecture? I think not.”

He said an intention to frighten was not sufficient for a murder conviction. “If you think he did not intend to kill or cause serious injury, but intended to frighten, you’re entitled to acquit of murder and convict of manslaughter.”

Mr Justice Carroll Moran begins his charge to the jury this morning.

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