A man who died following a beating in a derelict house in Cork in 1997 was
not involved in any way in the death 10 years earlier of another man as was
alleged during the trial of a man accused of his murder.
Retired Supt Patrick Brennan, of Mayfield garda station, Cork was giving
evidence at the sixth day of the retrial of William Carroll (52) at the
Central Criminal Court. Mr Carroll, of no fixed address, has denied the
murder of Mr Thomas Harte, (40) of Allen's Square, Ballymacthomas, Cork in a
derelict house on Leitrim Street, Cork, between 19th and 20th May 1997.
Supt Brennan told Mr Paul Greene BL for the prosecution that the deceased
man was in no way connected with the death of the accused man's brother,
Gerard Carroll, in 1987. Last week the main prosecution witness, Mr Michael
Flynn gave evidence to the court that on the night Mr Harte was attacked,
the accused man had claimed he was responsible for the death of his brother
at a pub in Cork city.
In his evidence Mr Flynn said the accused had repeatedly told his nephew
Patrick Carroll "that's the man who killed your father in the Long Valley
pub... that's the man that killed my lovely brother, my lovely brother" as
the two men proceeded to attack Mr Harte.
Today in court, Supt Brennan said, "a full and thorough investigation was
carried out following the death of Gerard Carroll and we are satisfied that
Mr Harte was not an employee of the Long Valley Pub then or at any time." He
agreed with counsel that Mr Harte's name didn't appear "in any shape or
form" in relation to the matter.
Under cross-examination by Mr Tim Bracken BL for the defence, Supt Brennan
told the court that 201 statements were taken during the initial
investigation into the attack on Mr Harte. Arising from this Supt Brennan
concluded in his report to the state solicitor's office that there was
sufficient evidence to sustain a charge against William Carroll and his
nephew, Patrick Carroll.
The court has already heard that Mr Patrick Carroll was also charged with
the murder of Mr Harte but that a nolle prosequi had been entered following
his hospitalisation over two years ago and his related medical condition.
The assistant state pathologist, Dr Margot Bolster has given evidence that
Mr Harte died from asphyxiation, due to the inhalation of blood, due to
blunt force trauma to the head. He suffered a total of 67 blows to the head
and body, and weapons including a toaster, a flowerpot holder and an
aluminium tube were allegedly used to beat him.
Mr Harte suffered from severe epilepsy and sometimes wandered away from home
when he was feeling down. He had been staying at the derelict house, used by
down and outs and winos, for three days before he was attacked.
The trial continues tomorrow when the defence will enter into evidence
before Mr Justice Carney and a jury.