I saw accused stab shop raider, witness tells court
TRIAL: Defendant denies murdering man who was trying to get away after supermarket heist
A WITNESS in a Dublin murder trial said he saw the accused strike the raider of a supermarket with a knife at least three times before running back to strike him again, the Central Criminal Court has heard.
David Wilson (22), of Marigold Avenue, Darndale, denies murdering Paul Howe (22) as Mr Howe tried to make his get away following a robbery at Supervalu on the Howth Road on October 8, 2008.
It is the prosecution's case that Wilson stabbed Mr Howe of Glenshane Crescent, Tallaght, as Mr Howe attempted to climb over a wall in the car park of the store after he carried out an armed robbery with another man.
Colm Coughlan, who was working in the store on the night in question, told Mr Paul Burns, prosecuting, that he saw four men and a security guard chasing the deceased man into the car park after the raid.
He said: "The security guard got a hold of him and had a bat in his hand and was hitting the robber trying to get him to the ground."
Once the security guard had got him to the ground the four men started kicking him, at which point the security guard stopped and signalled at the others to do the same.
Mr Coughlan, who identified the accused as one of the men in the group, said: "I noticed Wilson getting something into his hand, a shiny silver object and he started striking at the robber with it."
He told the court he saw the accused strike the man three times, he then stopped and walked away but ran back and struck him again.
"People were trying to stop him and he did stop and walk away but he ran back and struck him once more with the silver item," he said.
The accused walked towards Mr Coughlan still holding the silver object, which he then saw was a knife.
"He asked me to take it, gestured it towards to me and I saw it and said, 'No I'm not going near it'."
Brian Sinott, a customer who was in the car park at the time of the stabbing, told the court he saw four or five people struggling with a man on the ground, kicking and punching him.
He saw two young men walking away and noticed the one nearest to him had a knife in his right hand.
He told the men to take it easy because he could sense the situation was going to get out of hand.
Mr Sinott said the man with the knife turned to him and said: "Did you see what he tried to do in there with this, he tried to stab one of the girls with it."
He then saw him walk back towards the man lying on the ground and heard someone shout: "He stabbed him'' or "He has been stabbed''.
Mr Sinott agreed with Mr Brendan Grehan, defending, in cross-examination that the man with the knife was not acting like someone in his right mind.
He said: "It was an instinctive reaction that developed and the situation got completely out of control, he was in a very agitated state."
Deepak Daulat, a Malaysian national, told Mr Burns he came to Ireland in 2006 to learn English and got a job in store security.
On the night of the stabbing he was working in the Supervalu on the Howth Road and was alerted by staff members that the store was being robbed.
He said: "I pressed the panic button in my pocket and saw one guy putting a knife to the girl's neck telling her to open the till."
He told prosecuting counsel he saw a man with a knife stab the raider three or four times before walking away and coming back to stab him again.
The trial, which is expected to last two weeks, continues.