herald

Saturday 23 September 2017

killer's road from school suspensions to double murder

WITH a drug addiction and a criminal record by the age of 16, David Curran was an early starter on the road to crime. The ruthless Drimnagh man was just 17 years old by the time he stabbed Pawel Kalite and Marius Szwajkos to death in an unprovoked attack.

By then, the teenager was already well acquainted with crime, having received two convictions for driving offences. In fact, just three days before he murdered two men, he was convicted of driving without insurance and a licence, and of failing to produce both in a garda station. The following day, February 21, 2008, he became the victim of a stab attack which necessitated stitches to his back.

Born on Bloomsday, June 16, 1990, Curran grew up in Lissadel Green in Drimnagh, where he lived with his parents, three younger brothers and a sister.

His path through the education system was a rocky one, peppered with several suspensions from school. He was eventually expelled.

He turned to a life of crime early on, ending up in the Children's Court on a number of occasions. Gardai were also aware that he was involved in minor larceny including the theft of cars. He often carried a screwdriver when attempting to find something to steal to feed his burgeoning drug habit.

Despite his extra-curricular criminal activities, he did manage to secure some qualifications through a course with FAS.

Alas, in the meantime he was also dabbling heavily in cannabis and alcohol. His problem with drugs first became apparent in November 2006 when he presented at the Ciall Youth Project seeking treatment for addiction. He was put on a 12-week counselling course, but just two months later he was back seeking help again. And in January 2008 he made a third attempt to clean himself up. By then, his choice of drugs had expanded to include benzodiazepines, a class of relaxant drugs that include valium and sleeping tablets.

However, in the eventful week leading up to the double murder, he had lapsed once more.

On Friday, February 22, he presented as usual for a scheduled session at the Ciall Drug Project but it was decided he was in no fit state for counselling due to the stabbing incident on the previous evening.

Some 24 hours later, Curran embarked on a day that tragically encapsulated his life of crime. It began shortly after 10am when he purchased a bottle of vodka. He and some friends, including Sean Keogh, went to the locks at the Grand Canal where he spent much of the morning drinking, smoking cannabis and ingesting Roche "yellows and blues" tablets.

Some time that afternoon, Curran came upon a moped and decided to steal it. A number of gardai were seen approaching so Curran and his pals abandoned the bike, but not before removing two bottles of wine and a screwdriver from it.

He was still in possession of a screwdriver when he received a call from a female friend telling him that his cousin had been in a fight.

He immediately ran down across the Luas tracks at Goldenbridge and headed around to Benbulben Road. Curran continued up the street to a house at 48 Benbulben Road. Polish men Pawel Kalite and Marius Szwajkos were standing outside.

He then viciously drove a screwdriver into the heads of the two men.

His murderous deeds completed, Curran fled to his aunt's house and stayed there for several days before agreeing to go to a garda station. Despite enduring seven lengthy interviews with gardai, he steadfastly refused to admit that two men had died at his hands.

afinneran@herald.ie

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