herald

Saturday 10 December 2016

Dad stabbed to death in garden had survived previous hit attempt

Gardai remove the body of Robert Ellis from Liscarne Gardens
Gardai remove the body of Robert Ellis from Liscarne Gardens

A man who was chased and stabbed to death in the back garden of a house in west Dublin had recently been warned that his life was under threat.

Father-of-one Robert Ellis (25) was murdered by a gang of up to four men at the Liscarne estate in Neilstown, Clondalkin.

He attempted to flee into a nearby property as he was being chased by his killers but was eventually caught and fatally assaulted.

Ellis survived an attempt on his life in February of last year when he and his then-partner were shot outside a house in the Grange View estate in Clondalkin.

Dispute

Gardai are now attempting to establish if yesterday morning's attack is linked to the previous attempt on his life.

The victim had previously been in a dispute with associates of a Clondalkin gang.

Ellis had more than 40 previous convictions, including for a machete attack, and served a lengthy prison sentence after being caught with a haul of drugs.

He was also a close associate of criminal Lee McDonnell, who made headlines after escaping from a prison van and going on the run for more than a month before being recaptured.

Ellis had been at a bonfire in the St Mark's estate in the hours before he was killed.

Supt Dermot Mann said a number of men were seen climbing over a wall of the back garden where Ellis was killed.

"We believe that the young man in his 20s was followed into the garden of the house by a number of people," said Supt Mann .

"We have information that a number of people left the garden over the wall.

"What we are looking for is if anyone knows the direction of travel of those people.

Bloodstains

"The Neilstown Road is a busy road, so if we could have any help from the public and the community it would be appreciated."

Supt Mann said gardai are investigating if there was a previous assault or row at the bonfire before Ellis left.

He confirmed that he did not live at the house but that he may have known the occupants as he is from the area.

Bloodstains could be seen on the footpath beside a green space at the end of Liscarne Gardens yesterday morning.

There was also blood in the driveway of a house at the end of the estate, where the victim had tried to flee from his attackers in search of help.

Local sources said Ellis banged furiously on the door of the house while losing blood from wounds.

A garda forensic tent was erected over his body in the back garden, and Deputy State Pathologist Dr Michael Curtis carried out a preliminary exam- ination at the scene.

Detectives from Ronanstown Garda Station are investigating and are appealing for information. No arrests have been made.

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