herald

Saturday 17 November 2018

Woman describes seeing partner stabbed to death in row over a can

Aisling Kenny gave evidence
Aisling Kenny gave evidence

A Dublin woman has described the moment she saw her partner's lifelong friend stab him in his chest in their kitchen following a scuffle over who owned a can of drink.

The witnesses were giving evidence to the Central Criminal Court yesterday in the trial of Paul Keating (51), who is charged with murdering father-of-four Mark Richardson.

Keating, of Harmonstown Road, Artane, has pleaded not guilty to murder but guilty to the manslaughter of Mr Richardson (47) on March 16, 2017.

Mr Richardson died in hospital an hour after the stabbing at his home elsewhere on Harmonstown Road.

Aisling Kenny testified that she and Mr Richardson had been together for 15 years and had three children together when they moved into their home the previous year.

She told Michael Delaney SC, prosecuting, that they had been homeless before that. She explained that her partner's friend, Keating, lived a few doors away and that he often visited their home, where he would drink with the deceased.

She said that both men had gone out together that day and arrived back around lunchtime with an eight-pack of cans each.

She joined them drinking in their dining room around 6pm.

She said that the men had got through most of what they had bought by the time of the stabbing.

She said that her partner and the accused were messing.

"They were slagging each other over nicknames they used to call each other," she said.

"There was a time I can remember Mark having Paul in a headlock and kind of 'nuggying'," she said, explaining that this was "like rubbing his head".

She said she didn't remember either of them getting annoyed during this time and that both men then went out the back for no more than five minutes.

Scuffle

"The next thing I remember is Mark being stabbed. It happened in the kitchen," she said.

She confirmed to Mr Delaney that Keating had stabbed him with a long kitchen knife.

"Mark referred to it as the cabbage knife," she added.

Mr Richardson's adult son explained that a "discussion" arose between his father and the accused as to who owned a can of drink his father gave him when he visited that evening.

Dean Connors told Mr Delaney he arrived with his partner and their child about half an hour before the stabbing.

"My father gave me a drink. There was a little discussion between my father and Mr Keating about who the can belonged to and a little scuffle between them," he said

He said that this scuffle lasted about 30 seconds.

"My father ended up getting a bit upset and went out to the back garden and was giving out," he said, recalling that his partner, Kim Valentine, had brought him back in.

Ms Valentine had already given evidence of this.

She told Caroline Biggs SC, defending, that after he came inside, she heard a kitchen drawer "being slammed open".

She said she turned around and saw Keating lean over Ms Kenny's shoulder and stab Mr Richardson.

She said that Keating had "just snapped" and that she saw "a whole change".

She agreed that everything that happened after this point was "very, very quick".

The trial continues today.

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