herald

Tuesday 21 August 2018

I heard accused saying 'I whacked him' claim

Trial: Star witness's sister tells court she called cab for Kenny

A MAN on trial for murder said, "I whacked him" shortly after the killing, a court heard.

Aisling O'Brien described the comment while giving evidence in the murder trial of four men.

John 'Champagne' Carroll (33) was shot in Grumpy Jack's Pub in the Coombe on February 18, 2009.

Peter Kenny (28) of McCarthy's Terrace, Rialto; Christopher Zambra (35) of Galtymore Road, Drimnagh; Damien Johnston (27) of Cashel Avenue, Crumlin; and Bernard Hempenstall (26) from Park Terrace in the Coombe have pleaded not guilty to murder.

The Central Criminal Court has already heard that 26-year-old Joey O'Brien was also involved in the murder, but was granted immunity from prosecution in exchange for testimony, which he has now given.

His older sister, Aisling O'Brien, yesterday testified that the evening before the murder, her brother asked her if he could put a motorbike in her garden.

She said she agreed and that the bike was there and covered when she got home that night.

She said he knocked on her door at about 8.50pm the next night to say he was taking the bike and asked for the helmet.

She was watching a film and remained in the sitting room while her former partner gave him the helmet, the court heard.

She said she could hear the rattle of a plastic bag and muttering between two people. She couldn't see who the other person was, she said.

"The door just closed and the bike started," she continued.

She said she heard the bike return about 45 minutes later.

"Peter Kenny was standing at the hall door when I opened it," she said.

She explained that she had known Kenny since she was a child growing up in Fatima Mansions. His cousin was still her best friend.

"I hadn't seen him for a good few years. He'd put on a bit of weight and had a moustache," she recalled.

"He just pushed past me and walked in," she said. "I thought he wanted to use the toilet or something, like he was in a hurry to get in.

"Peter kept asking someone to ring a taxi. He sounded a bit anxious to get out of the house. He said it about eight times, over and over.

"I thought they were after being up to something," she said, adding that she rang a taxi for Kenny from his phone.

"He (Kenny) was saying to Joey in the kitchen: 'I whacked him. I whacked him. I did it," she testified.

She said that her brother did not reply.

The trial continues.

hnews@herald.ie

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