Man in wheelchair was heard screaming 'help me, I'm dying here' after stabbing

A 40-year-old man has gone on trial at the Central Criminal Court today accused of murder
Man in wheelchair was heard screaming 'help me, I'm dying here' after stabbing

Alan Harte, with an address at Island Quay Apartments, East Wall, Dublin 3, has pleaded not guilty to the murder of Anthony Rogers at his home at Robinson's Court, Cork Street, Dublin 8 on November 6, 2016.

A 61-year-old wheelchair-user was heard screaming "help me, I'm dying here" after he was repeatedly stabbed in the head and neck at a "neighbourly" Dublin flat complex, a jury is to hear.

A 40-year-old man has gone on trial at the Central Criminal Court today accused of murder.

It was during the opening of the trial of Alan Harte that Sean Gillane SC, prosecuting, told the jury that a man was seen leaving the flat complex on the afternoon of the killing and told a resident "tell Maureen he is a child molester", just moments before the deceased was heard screaming "help me I'm dying here" from the hallway of his home.

Mr Harte, with an address at Island Quay Apartments, East Wall, Dublin 3, has pleaded not guilty to the murder of Anthony Rogers at his home at Robinson's Court, Cork Street, Dublin 8 on November 6, 2016.

In his opening address today, prosecuting counsel Mr Gillane said the deceased Mr Rogers lived at Robinson's Court, where there is an entrance just off Cork Street into a courtyard with three blocks of flats.

Mr Gillane told the jury that Robinson's Court was a small social housing development with elderly residents, who were known to each other in a "neighbourly way".

Detailing the evidence that will be heard, counsel said Mr Rogers was not in the greatest of health, used a wheelchair, and lived in a flat at the complex. "He was well known to a number of neighbours," he added.

Mr Gillane told the court that Mr Rogers was known to sit "in the door area" of his flat or he would regularly leave the front door open.

Witness evidence

On the day of the killing at around 2.30pm, Mr Gillane said a resident from Robinson's Court, Ms Farrell, was returning to the flat complex towards the block of flats when she encountered a "male person", who was dressed in a particular way, coming in the other direction.

The prosecution barrister went on to tell the court that the man asked Ms Farrell: "Do you know Maureen?". Ms Farrell indicated that she did know Maureen, he said.

There will be evidence, Mr Gillane said, that the man then said to Ms Farrell "tell Maureen he is a child molester" before he walked in the direction of Cork Street.

Counsel said Ms Farrell then heard "screaming" coming from Mr Rogers flat. "She could hear Mr Rogers voice and he was screaming 'help me, I'm dying here'," said Mr Gillane.

Ms Farrell found Mr Rogers bleeding very heavily and he was lying in a pool of blood on the ground, he said, adding that the woman raised the alarm and other neighbours immediately came to Mr Rogers flat.

Shortly afterwards, emergency services from Dublin Fire Brigade and gardaí arrived at the scene. Mr Rogers injuries were immediately obvious to them, he continued.

Wheelchair overturned

Outlining the circumstances of the deceased’s death, Mr Gillane said Mr Rogers' wheelchair was overturned in the hallway of his flat, he had no palpable pulse and did not appear to be breathing but extensive efforts were made to extend his life, which proved unsuccessful.

Mr Rogers was pronounced dead at 3.18pm that day and a postmortem was carried out, which revealed multiple knife injuries to his face, neck, left shoulder, left trunk, arm and the top and back of his head, said Mr Gillane.

The most serious injuries were to the left side of the deceased's head and neck area, where there were 11 stab wounds. There was another stab wound to the right side of Mr Rogers face, said Mr Gillane.

Most significantly, the barrister said there were two stab wounds to Mr Rogers' neck, one which punctured his jugular vein and the other to the back of his throat above his Adam's apple.

An investigation commenced immediately and Mr Gillane said the jury would hear evidence concerning the extent of that investigation. "That is a thumbnail sketch of what the case is about," he concluded.

The trial resumes on Monday before Mr Justice Alexander Owens and a jury of seven men and five women. It is expected to last seven days.

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