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Saturday 17 August 2019

Knife was 'embedded' in man's chest, nurse tells stab murder trial

Ex-soldier Warren O’Connor was killed nine years ago
Ex-soldier Warren O’Connor was killed nine years ago
Gary Watson. Photo: Przemyslaw Koch

A nurse has told a murder trial how she discovered a man had a knife "embedded" in his chest with the handle "snapped off" after she went to his aid.

Alison Boyd was giving evidence yesterday in the Central Criminal Court trial of Gary Watson (35), who is charged with murdering former soldier Warren O'Connor (24) nine years ago.

Mr Watson, of Millbrook Avenue, Kilbarrack, has pleaded not guilty to murdering Mr O'Connor at Hole In The Wall Road, Donaghmede, on January 16, 2010.

Intimidate

He also denies assaulting Philip Woodcock (34), causing him harm, on the same occasion and producing a knife to intimidate another person in the course of a dispute.

The trial previously heard that a fight broke between two groups of men after Mr Woodcock removed the fuse and cut power to his neighbour's apartment so an allegedly "noisy house party" would end and the occupants would leave.

Ms Boyd told prosecution counsel James Dwyer that she lived in Newgrove Estate, Donaghmede, which faced on to Hole In The Wall Road, and was working as a nurse at the time.

She testified that she was on the computer in her bedroom when she heard a "loud bang" outside.

As she looked out of the window, Ms Boyd said she saw two cars on Hole In The Wall Road. One looked like a Ford Focus and the other was dark in colour, she said.

About five men got out of the Ford Focus and they were in their early 20s, she said.

"One of these men went over to the dark car and kicked it and the others were milling around the Focus car," she added.

Ms Boyd said she moved away from the window to turn off the light and when she returned she saw about 10 people gathered at the railings outside.

"I saw someone slumped against the railings and someone shouted 'He's been stabbed'," she said, adding that she rang for an ambulance.

The witness said three men ran in the direction of Trinity Sports and Leisure Club on Hole In The Wall Road.

One of these men was wearing a hoodie, but she could not remember what colour it was, she said.

The witness said she grabbed two towels before she ran outside to the man who was lying on his back. A friend of his was crouched beside him and another man was at his other side, she said.

Ms Boyd testified that one of the man's friends could not get a pulse from him, so she tried to get one before the paramedics arrived.

She told Mr Dwyer that the man who was lying on the ground had a knife "embedded" in his chest with the handle "snapped off".

She said the knife was about two to three inches wide and "protruded" about two inches from the left-hand side of his chest.

"It looked like it was in his heart,' she said, adding that the man was unresponsive.

Rachel Foy told Mr Dwyer that she was also living in Newgrove Estate at the time.

She was watching television in the front room when she heard a "big bang" outside.

As she looked out of the window, she saw two cars in the middle of the road. One was a silver Ford Focus and the other was a dark car.

Screaming

Ms Foy said she went upstairs to a bedroom and she saw "a gang of people" standing on the footpath and on the road.

"I heard screaming and the name Warren being shouted and then I heard 'Get it into him'," she said.

The witness said she saw someone stab a man and he fell to the ground, but she did not see who had stabbed him.

"A couple of boys" then ran towards Trinity Sports and Leisure Club, she said, and her neighbour who was a nurse came out of her house to help the man lying on the ground.

Ms Foy's brother, Gary Foy, also gave evidence yesterday.

He testified that he heard a man wearing a white hoodie say "Get that into you" and saw him make a stabbing motion towards another man's chest.

The trial continues today.

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