herald

Monday 5 December 2016

Shopkeeper who killed customer to get retrial

a Chinese national jailed for life for the 2011 murder of a man outside his internet cafe on Wellington Quay has had his conviction quashed on appeal.

Zhao Zhen Dong (38), of Jervis Street, Dublin, had pleaded not guilty to the murder of Noel Fegan at Wellington Quay, in the capital on May 20, 2011.

He was found guilty by a jury at the Central Criminal Court and was given the mandatory life sentence by Mr Justice Patrick McCarthy on December 5, 2012.

Zhao successfully appealed his conviction on grounds that the trial judge erred in explaining the concept of provocation to the jury.

retrial

In a judgment delivered yesterday the Court of Appeal quashed his conviction and ordered a retrial. He was remanded him custody to appear before the Central Criminal Court on Monday.

Speaking on behalf of the Court of Appeal, Mr Justice George Birmingham said Zhao had made Ireland his home was running an internet cafe and call shop on Wellington Quay.

On the date in question, the deceased, Noel Fegan made a call from Zhao's shop to his daughter and went to leave the premises without paying.

Zhao indicated to Mr Fegan that he would have to pay and Mr Fegan suggested "untruthfully, it would appear", that he had been unable to connect to the number that he dialled and no payment was due, the judgment stated.

When Zhao pointed to a computer screen to show the call had connected, Mr Fegan threw one or more coins on the counter which did not cover the cost of the call.

A number of witness accounts did not tally, the judgment stated. It was clear an argument ensued and Mr Fegan slapped Zhao in the face.

Mr Fegan either ran or was dragged out of the premises and ended up on the ground where he received a number of kicks, including kicks to the head.

The appeal came down to a complaint that the jury weren't expressly and explicitly told that the defence of provocation was still available to Zhao even in a situation where there was an intention to kill or cause serious harm.

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