Monday 19 March 2018

Garden shears murder trial jury considering their verdict in trial of shears murder accused

Martin Keenan said he ‘picked up the nearest object’
Martin Keenan said he ‘picked up the nearest object’

A jury has begun deliberating in the trial of a man charged with murdering a trespasser in his mobile home by stabbing him with half a garden shears.

The accused said the deceased had attacked him after he asked him to leave, and that he picked up the nearest object and hit him with it.

The Central Criminal Court jury was given the long-handled shears to examine as part of its deliberations.

Martin Keenan (20), of Cardiffsbridge Avenue, Finglas, has pleaded not guilty to murdering Wesley Mooney (33) at St Joseph's Park halting site, Dunsink Lane, north Dublin, on June 5, 2016.

Mr Justice Paul Butler charged the 10 men and two women of the jury yesterday, telling them they had three possible verdicts open to them: guilty, not guilty or not guilty of murder but guilty of manslaughter.


He said that, under the Criminal Law (Defence and the Dwelling) Act 2011, there was a right to use reasonable force, where a person believed the other entered the dwelling as a trespasser, especially in the context of committing a crime.

"That's certainly a reasonable belief in this case," he said.

However, he said the force used had to be reasonable in the circumstance, as the accused believed it to be.

He also said there was no obligation on the accused to retreat from the situation.

"The use of force is a matter of last resort. It must be reasonable and proportionate to the threat," the judge added.

The jury spent about an hour considering their verdict before being sent home for the evening.

They were due to resume deliberations this morning.

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