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Friday 9 December 2016

Murder trial hears of brother and sister 'attempt to poison man (63) with cleaning fluids in robbery cover-up'

Sabrina Cummins and brother, Kenneth, deny the murder charges
Sabrina Cummins and brother, Kenneth, deny the murder charges

A brother and sister murdered a man in an attempt to cover up a robbery, a jury at the Central Criminal Court in Dublin has heard.

Kenneth Cummins (28) and Sabrina Cummins (37), with an address at Ringsend Park, Dublin 4, have both pleaded not guilty to murdering Thomas Horan (63) at Cambridge Court, Ringsend.

Opening the trial, prosecution counsel Remy Farrell SC told the jury that both accused called to the victim's house in the early hours of the morning of January 6 last year.

Their intention was to get money, he said, adding, "They decided to rob him and decided to kill him."

Mr Farrell said that the jury will hear evidence that Mr Horan was "severely beaten," had a rope placed around his neck, a bag placed over his head, and that there was an "attempt to poison him" with cleaning fluids.

Both Kenneth and Sabrina Cummins were arrested two days after Mr Horan's body was found, he told the jury.

The court heard evidence today from Mary Rose O'Sullivan about a 999 call received on the date of the alleged murder.

A woman who called herself Joanna called 999 and told Ms O'Sullivan that she had found the body of her friend, the court heard.

Garda Ciaran Sweeney told the court that he was on patrol on the morning in question when, at 5am, he was dispatched to the area of the alleged murder.

Identified

Gda Sweeney said that he noticed a couple sitting on the wall outside the Old Presbytery on Cambridge Rd. "They were the only people around," he said.

A woman who he identified in court as the accused, Sabrina Cummins, approached Gda Sweeney.

She identified herself as the 999 caller, he said.

Gda Sweeney told the jury that Ms Cummins told him that she was on her way home when she saw the victim's body through the window of his apartment.

It was "absolutely impossible" to see in the window Ms Cummins had referred to, Gda Sweeney told the court.

Ms Cummins told Gda Sweeney that the victim was "like a foster father" to her, the court heard.

One of the accused, Kenneth Cummins, is not present in court for the trial. Mr Justice Tony Hunt told the jury that Mr Cummins "has asked not to be present during the trial and I cannot see any reason this cannot be acceded to".

The trial continues.

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