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Azzam's mother breaks down as court is told of teen's final moments

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Azzam Raguragui was stabbed five times in the park

Azzam Raguragui was stabbed five times in the park

Azzam Raguragui was stabbed five times in the park

The mother of a teenager who was stabbed to death during a melee in a Dublin park broke down at the Central Criminal Court after hearing a witness describe her son's final moments.

The witness was telling the prosecution that he ran to his friend Azzam Raguragui after the teen had been stabbed during the fight.

"I was telling Azzam he was going to make it and he was telling me he was going to die," he said.

At that moment, Azzam's mother began to scream and cry loudly at the back of the court.

Mr Justice Paul McDermott asked the jury to leave, and when he later brought them back into court, he told them the deceased's mother had become "extremely overwrought".

Emotions

He said cases of this kind generate "real and understandable emotions, particularly to those who have suffered loss".

The judge explained that the court deals with matters in a clinical way, which although appropriate, "brings its own effects and causes emotions to run very high".

He asked the jury to put aside emotion and said that while that may seem "aloof or cold", their job is to consider and analyse the facts in a dispassionate way.

The 17-year-old accused, who cannot be identified because he is a minor, has pleaded guilty to manslaughter but not guilty to the murder of 18-year-old Azzam at Finsbury Park, Dundrum, Dublin 14, on May 10 last year .

The court has heard a row broke out between two groups of teenagers following a dispute over a stolen bicycle.

Azzam was stabbed five times during the melee.

Earlier yesterday, the jury heard from another teenager who was involved in the fight.

The witness said he was with Azzam and a group of friends in Dundrum.

He said there had been a dispute with friends of the accused over a stolen bike, and later that evening he was with his friends in Finsbury Park when the accused and others approached.

The two groups talked for a time, but then Azzam and a member of the other group walked away from the main body.

They were talking privately, he said, when the other boy "boxed" Azzam in the forehead.

The witness said a fight broke out, and in the middle of it he saw Azzam on the ground trying to kick the accused while he stabbed him.

"He couldn't do much because he was getting stabbed, but he was backing away on his back and his legs kicking," he said.

The fight ended suddenly and the witness ran to his friend and waited for an ambulance.

"It's like you're in a dream that really didn't happen," he said.

Shook

After the ambulance had left, he went to a local mosque, believing Azzam would recover and they would have a laugh about it all later.

When he found out that night that Azam was dead, he was "shocked".

"None of us thought Azzam was going to die," he said.

"When we got the news I was just shook. I couldn't accept it. I didn't want to accept it."

Under cross-examination, the witness denied a suggestion by the defence that he and his friends at the mosque agreed to say the first punch was thrown by a member of the accused's group.

He insisted that the fight broke out after Azzam was punched.

The trial continues in front of Mr Justice McDermott and a jury of six men and six women.