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Blood trail 'led to home of murder accused' - garda


David Brannock

David Brannock

David Brannock

A TRAIL of blood led gardai from the body of a man stabbed in the back of his neck to the home of his suspected killer, a court has heard.

The Central Criminal Court heard the evidence in the trial of a 23-year-old Dubliner charged with murdering the father of three and injuring four members of his family.

David Brannock, of St Joseph's Way, Ballymun, denies murdering Jason Flannery, causing serious harm to his brother-in-law John O'Neill and assault causing harm to Mr Flannery's daughter Jade Byrne, son Anthony Byrne and mother Claire Byrne in the early hours of September 13, 2012 at St Joseph's Way, Poppintree, Ballymun.

The trial has heard that Jade Byrne got into an argument with Mr Brannock during her Junior Cert celebrations the night before. The argument escalated and ended in a violent confrontation in the early hours of September 13.

Sgt Patrick Whelan testified yesterday that he arrived in St Joseph's Way shortly after 4.15am and was informed that several people had been stabbed, one fatally.

He saw the deceased lying on the footpath, along with a silver crutch and speckles of blood leading away from his body.

"As I followed the trail, it brought me to the front door of the accused man's home," he said.

Outside this house, a car appeared to have been parked quickly.

"I believed another person may have been injured," he said. "I knocked on the door."

He said Mr Brannock's father opened the door and he could see blood in the hallway. The sergeant was allowed in and followed the trail of blood into the kitchen.

"I saw a foot in the sitting room, in darkness," he said. "I turned on my torch and found David Brannock behind a shelving unit, hiding. He told me he was fixing the shelf."

The officer said somebody turned on the light and he could see injuries to Mr Brannock's head and hand as well as blood on his clothing. The accused said he had been in a row on another street about 10 minutes away.

The sergeant said the accused told him he did not know of any trouble in St Joseph's Way.

However, he suspected he was involved and arrested him on suspicious of assault causing serious harm to Mr Flannery.

The court heard Mr Flannery died of a stab wound to his upper cervical spinal cord, with two stab wounds to his stomach a contributing factor.


Deputy State Pathologist Dr Michael Curtis said the most serious wound was to the neck.

"It entered the spinal canal, where it sliced the first segment of the cervical spinal cord," he said.

The trial has already heard that Mr Flannery's teenaged children, Jade and Anthony Byrne, received stitches for wounds they received.

Their uncle, John O'Neill, spent a week in a coma and a month in hospital recovering from several stab wounds. One of the most serious wounds resulted in part of his intestine protruding from his body.

The trial continues before Mr Justice Carroll Moran and a jury of five women and seven men.