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Secret lover died from stab wound to heart, murder trial jury told


Victim Graham McKeever

Victim Graham McKeever

Victim Graham McKeever

A Dublin man who died after a fight with his lover's boyfriend died from a single stab wound to the heart, a pathologist has told a murder trial.

Deputy State Pathologist Dr Linda Mulligan told Keith Connorton's trial that Graham McKeever suffered three other stab wounds which could have contributed to his death, as well as about 40 scratches and bruises.

Mr Connorton (40), of Deerpark Avenue, Tallaght, has pleaded not guilty to the murder of Mr McKeever (32) at the accused's apartment on February 18, 2017. He is on trial at the Central Criminal Court.


Dr Mulligan said she attended the scene and found Mr McKeever in the living area, lying on his back with two obvious stab wounds to his chest.

He was wearing only boxer shorts and socks, and his body and the area around him was heavily bloodstained.

On the floor about two metres from his body was a knife with a serrated blade.

The fatal wound entered the front of the left side of Mr McKeever's chest between the second and third ribs and tracked to a depth of 11cm.

It penetrated the two chambers of the right side of the heart, causing damage to the ventricular wall and bleeding around the heart and into the lungs.

This wound, Dr Mulligan said, and the bleeding that resulted from it, was the cause of death.

A second wound to the chest went to a depth of 4cm but did not penetrate past the ribs.


Accused Keith Connorton

Accused Keith Connorton

Accused Keith Connorton

Another stab wound near the armpit and a fourth to the back did not penetrate the chest cavity.

Although those wounds were not fatal, Dr Mulligan said they would have caused blood loss and may have contributed to Mr McKeever's death.

The fatal wound, she said, was not survivable and, although death would not have been immediate, it would have been rapid, within minutes.

She found bruises and scratches on Mr McKeever's head, neck, arms, legs and torso.

Drug tests on his blood and urine revealed that he had taken benzodiazepines, methadone, alcohol and cocaine in the hours before his death.

The fatal injury was consistent with the use of a tapering knife while two injuries on his back may have been caused by a serrated knife.


Claire McGrath. Photo: Collins Courts

Claire McGrath. Photo: Collins Courts

Collins Courts.

Claire McGrath. Photo: Collins Courts

Ten injuries were consistent with scratches from the tip of a knife.

Earlier this week the woman in the "love triangle" that allegedly resulted in Mr McKeever being stabbed to death told the trial: "It is my fault. If I had never brought him to my house he would be still alive. I'm so sorry."

Claire McGrath also said Mr McKeever "burst into" the room where she was arguing with Mr Connorton and said "she's mine now" before the fatal row broke out.

She told prosecution counsel Brendan Grehan SC that she was still in a relationship with the accused.


They moved into the apartment at Deerpark Avenue in November 2014 having previously spent time together in homeless accommodation. They have one son together.

They had a "rocky patch" for about a year and while Mr Connorton still lived at the apartment they did not share a bed.

She and Mr McKeever had been seeing each other romantically behind Mr Connorton's back for about six weeks before Mr McKeever's death, she said.

The trial continues today.