Axe murder trial told defence was 'tinged'

Addressing the jury in the trial of a Cork man accused of murder, the prosecuting counsel today said the accused "tinged his defence to avoid the consequences of his actions".

Addressing the jury in the trial of a Cork man accused of murder, the prosecuting counsel today said the accused "tinged his defence to avoid the consequences of his actions".

Mr Mark Allingham of Fr Murphy Place, Midleton, Co Cork, has pleaded not guilty to the killing of Mr Gerard Hackett (aged 49) of the Cork Simon Community and Reen Downey Place, Cork City, on an unknown date between October 16 and 21, 2002.

"There is no doubt that Mr Allingham killed Mr Hackett. What we say is that he did it with intent," Mr McCarthy, SC for the prosecution, said.

"Self defence doesn't arise in this case".

Over the past five days, the jury saw Mr Allingham admit to gardaí - in a recorded video interview - to striking Mr Hackett with an axe seven times in the head after he allegedly tried to have sex with him at a derelict house known as The Rock, Towns Park, Midleton, Co Cork.

Mr McCarthy outlined to the jury a number of alleged inconsistencies with Mr Allingham's statement of events. The defence said there was a sexual advance by the late Mr Hackett. "But there was no semen found on the underclothing of Mr Hackett or on Mr Allingham," said Mr McCarthy.

Mr McCarthy then told the jury of three women and nine men that Mr Allingham states that Mr Hackett dropped his trousers in an attempt to have sex with him. "But in his statement, it is Mr Allingham that says he removed Mr Hackett's pants and underpants".

"When you look at the evidence, Mr Allingham doesn't want to get caught. He uses a false name when he makes the 999 call and he tries to destroy evidence including trying to burn the body."

Mr John O'Kelly SC, defence counsel, told the jury today that the prosection say that Mr Alligham staged a clever defence but that in reality that was not so.

When he was arrested on Sunday, October 21, 2002, Mr Allingham was "so drunk that he was described by gardaí as stumbling around," according to Mr O'Kelly.

"Mr Allingham was down and out, had no education, no chances in life, he had previously been abused. Sex is something that is very deep. We don't know what reaction we would have if we were provoked, especially if we had a load of drink inside us," Mr O'Kelly said.

Justice Diarmuid O'Donovan will begin his closing speech later today

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