Legal argument in taxi driver murder trial

The jury in the trial of a man and woman accused of murdering a taxi driver who was killed in a frenzied knife attack last year in north Dublin was sent away today in order to allow legal argument in its absence.

The jury in the trial of a man and woman accused of murdering a taxi driver who was killed in a frenzied knife attack last year in north Dublin was sent away today in order to allow legal argument in its absence.

Carlos Byrne (aged 22) and Lindsey Fahy (aged 25), both of Linnetsfield Square, Clonee, Co Meath, deny murdering 31 year-old Mark Smith at Fortlawn Avenue, Blanchardstown, on March 18, 2009.

The jury at the Central Criminal Court today heard brief evidence from gardaí who arrived at the scene. Garda Shane Fitzsimons told John Aylmer SC, prosecuting, that he and a colleague were the first gardaí to arrive at Fortlawn Avenue where they found Mr Smith lying dead.

Gda Fitzsimons said there was a trail of blood staining the pavement from where Mr Smith's body lay to further up the street where his taxi was parked.

Gda John Drenan told the court that he found Mr Smith's partner, Emma Shaw, sitting in front of the taxi with a child in the back of the car. He said she was in a "bad state of shock" and had trouble speaking. He said she told him that someone had attacked her partner.

Robert Osbourne, a resident of Fortlawn Drive, told the court that gardaí arrived at his house the day after Mr Smith's death and told him they had found a knife in his front garden. It was not from his house and he had never seen it before.

Mr Justice Paul Butler told the jury that a legal issue had to be discussed in its absence and to return tomorrow morning. He said the trial will continue into next week.

The jury earlier heard that Mr Smith had his partner and child in his car and met the two accused at their home. He drove them to the Fortlawn Estate where Mr Byrne allegedly stabbed Mr Smith 43 times as Ms Fahy shouted encouragement and kicked the deceased.

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