Blood-spattered knife is shown to murder jury
THE jury in the case of a 22-year-old Dublin man on trial for murder has been shown the blood-spattered carving knife that was used in the fatal stabbing.
It has also heard that the accused, Warren Graham, admitted to gardai that he knifed Paul Keegan during a drugs "rip" because he was acting in defence of his friend, who was being beaten by the deceased.
He said his friend kept screaming "Jab him, jab him... I took this to mean stab him so I did, in the back... I didn't mean to kill him...I just wanted to get him off (my friend)" the accused told gardai after he had presented himself at Crumlin Garda station.
Following his confession, he told gardai he felt he was "after getting a heavy load off my back"and said he regretted what had happened.
Graham, of Shancastle Lawn in Clondalkin, has denied murdering Mr Keegan (42) in a lane behind Cherryfield Road, Walkinstown on December 10, 2007. He has also pleaded not guilty to a second charge of having an imitation firearm with intent to cause robbery on the same date.
The Central Criminal Court has heard that Graham only became involved in the drugs rip the night before it occurred, and was given the knife by his friend.
The accused was asked to give his friend a loan of his airgun, which he had bought at the Toys For Big Boys exhibition in the RDS, for the hoax drugs collection.
The two met Thomas Maher, who was the main eye-witness in the case and has already given evidence to the court, and Mr Keegan in the lane.
The accused and his friend pretended they had 50kg of hash in the boot of their car for the men, and then pulled their weapons on them in an effort to get the cash for the drugs.
Mr Maher made a run for it and the accused chased him, but returned to the scene on hearing his friend scream, "Warren come back".
The accused told gardai that the "big fella" was punching his friend in the head and he was hitting Mr Keegan with the imitation gun, but it was having no effect.
He said his friend wouldn't stop screaming for help and he panicked and stabbed the deceased twice, causing him to scream and fall to the ground.
His friend then drove them away from the scene in a Volkswagen Golf, and the accused flung the knife into the lane. The weapon was later found by forensic detectives in undergrowth in the lane.
Mr Maher raised the alarm after he managed to escape and emergency services were on the scene moments later, but Mr Keegan was pronounced dead on his arrival at hospital.
He had sustained four stab wounds, one of which was 19cm deep, to the chest, stomach, back of the shoulder and lower back. The knife penetrated his heart and cut through his spleen. The cause of death was multiple stab wounds, with blunt force trauma to the head a contributory factor.
The jury was shown the black-handled carving knife used in the attack. There were blood spatters on the blade which measured 15cm in length.The weapon had an overall length of 28cm.
It was also shown the imitation firearm used in the incident, which was designed to look like a small Uzi sub-machine gun.
Forensic scientist Marcie Lee-Gorman gave evidence of having examined Mr Keegan's clothes, which she said were heavily blood-stained and bore a number of stab cuts.
The accused's clothes, which she also examined, were neither blood-stained nor damaged.
She told the court that on examining the scene of the killing, she found a large pool of blood on the ground, as well as blood staining and blood splashes on the surrounding walls.
Blood stains on the knife and imitation gun were analysed and found to match Paul Keegan's DNA.
The trial continues.