THE jury in a Dublin murder trial has heard of an argument the accused had with the deceased shortly before he allegedly kicked him to death.
A witness was giving evidence in the trial of the proprietor of an internet cafe and call shop, who is charged with murdering a customer over not paying for a phone call.
Zhen Dong Zhao (36), a Chinese man with an address at Jervis Street in Dublin, has denied murdering Finglas man Noel Fegan on May 20, 2011.
The Central Criminal Court has heard that the alleged attack took place outside e-Times on Dublin's Wellington Quay. Mr Fegan (40), who had been living on Aughrim Street, had gone into the shop to phone his daughter.
Chong Yu told the trial yesterday that the defendant, who he knew as Joe, sublet the 24-hour internet cafe from Mr Chong's wife. Mr Chong said he was a customer in the call centre on the Friday afternoon in question. The defendant was behind the counter, he recalled.
Mr Chong said two men came in around 4 o'clock. He said they told Zhen they wanted to use the phone and Zhen said 'yes' to their request. He said the two men came out of a booth about two minutes later and the smaller man said that the phone was not working.
"Joe said: 'Would you wait?' He checked the system and said the phone went through and asked him for money," testified Mr Chong. "The man said: 'I've no money'." He said Zhen told the man he had to pay.
"The man took a 10 cent out of his pocket and threw it at Joe and said: 'That's all I have,' and the coin fell on the ground," said Mr Chong.
"Joe said: 'You have to pay the money.' He said he had no money," continued the witness. "Joe said: 'You can't go'.
"Joe was holding his shirt and the small man was using the back of his right hand to hit Joe on the right side of the face.
"Joe fell against the counter and both men ran out," he said. "Joe followed them out. He ran."
Mr Chong said he went outside. "I saw the man on the ground on his back," he said. "One or two minutes later, blood came out of his right ear.
He said he asked Zhen what was wrong. "He said: 'I kicked him'," testified Mr Chong.
The trial continues.