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Accused flew into a rage before killing pal, claims witness

A man accused of murdering his life-long friend and stabbing a second man, told gardai that he thought he was going to get "a hiding" from the two men and he knew he would die if he did because he had had half a lung removed.

Martin Toland (34), of Walkinstown Park, Dublin, described to gardai how his friend, Alan Nolan, attacked him, tried to punch him and threw a lamp at him before producing a knife at his apartment at Cedarbrook Walk in Ballyfermot, three years ago.

"One thing I can't describe to you is the fear I was in in that house," Toland told investigating detectives.

Referring to the fact that he called an ambulance and remained in the apartment administering CPR to Mr Nolan, the accused said to gardai: "I never intentionally set out to hurt anyone. If I was guilty of setting out to hurt someone, I wouldn't have stayed there."

Toland has pleaded not guilty to the murder of Mr Nolan (28), on September 8, 2007 and has also denied a second count of recklessly or intentionally causing serious harm to James Carroll (30).

Mr Carroll, who was stabbed in the heart and stomach, also gave evidence before the Central Criminal Court yesterday, on day three of the trial.

He told the court that following a row between the accused and Mr Nolan, he tried to push the accused out of the front door.

But he said as Toland was leaving, Alan Nolan shouted something at him: "It sent Martin into a fit of rage, he barged through me and stabbed me three times in the process to get to Alan."

Counsel for the defence, Diarmuid McGuinness, suggested to Mr Carroll that he threatened the accused, calling him a "little weasel" and saying that he was going to get the knife from him and "cut his f***ing throat".

Mr Carroll denied this.

The trial resumes today before Mr Justice Patrick McCarthy.

hnews@herald.ie