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Central Criminal Courts of Justice Sam Boal via

Man pleads not guilty to Loughlinstown murder

He is accused of fatally stabbing a man in the Dublin suburb in 2019.

A MAN WHO visited a Dublin suburb for a “straightener” was stabbed to death by the man he was there to fight, a barrister has told the Central Criminal Court.

Roisin Lacey SC for the Director of Public Prosecutions told the jury at the opening of the trial of Andrew Lacey that they will also hear a recording of a call made by the accused to emergency services in which he can be heard saying to a friend at the scene, “what will we do, they jumped on us, yeah, we had no weapons”.

Counsel said the issue of self-defence may arise and that the prosecution case “in a nutshell” is that the accused knowingly used more force than was reasonably necessary.

Lacey (35) of Riverside, Loughlinstown, Co Dublin has pleaded not guilty to the murder of Derek Reddin (31) at Loughlinstown Drive on a date unknown between October 14 and October 15, 2019.

Lacey told the jury of eight men and four women that on October 14, 2019, Lacey spent a considerable part of the evening at the Lough Inn in Loughlinstown playing darts with a friend. They left and went to a takeaway next to the pub and were walking with their food towards Loughlinstown Drive at about 23.56 when they “encountered” Reddin and another man.

Ms Lacey said evidence will be heard that Reddin was in Loughlinstown that night for “a straightener with Andrew Lacey”. Ms Lacey explained that he was there for a “fight” and was “not there by coincidence”. She said there was a history of animosity and feuding between associates of both men.

Lacey fought Reddin while his friend fought a friend of Reddin’s, counsel said, and during the altercation Reddin received a fatal stab wound that penetrated his ribs, left lung and the right ventricle of his heart.

Assistant State Pathologist Dr Margaret Bolster will tell the trial that Reddin died from haemorrhage and shock due to a stab wound to the heart.

Ms Lacey said analysis of Lacey’s mobile phone showed that in the immediate aftermath of the stabbing he made two calls which did not connect and then received a call from one of the numbers he had dialled. The call lasted 45 seconds and was followed by a call from Lacey to emergency services at one minute and thirty seconds after midnight.

Ms Lacey said the accused asked for police and said he was “being chased with knives and baseball bats” before his phone went dead. Ms Lacey said the accused and his friend then used the friend’s phone to take two photos and a short video of the scene where Reddin was lying. They then used the friend’s phone to call 999 and Lacey said “two people are after attacking me with a knife and a bat. I’m after grabbing a knife and turning it back into him”.

Ms Lacey said the accused was then put on hold but was recorded by the emergency services talking to his friend. Reading from a transcript, counsel said the accused could be heard saying, “What will we do, they jumped on us, yeah. We had no weapons, we were eating from the chipper around the corner”.

Ms Lacey said the jury will view CCTV footage and will hear from forensic experts about blood at the scene and DNA evidence. Blood with DNA matching Reddin’s was found on a knife that was retrieved at the scene, counsel said. The knife could fold into its handle and the blade measured about 8.5cm and tapered to a sharp tip.

The accused was arrested and questioned at Shankill Garda Station. Ms Lacey said he told gardaí that he had been returning from the pub when he was attacked by two men who “came out of the bushes”. He said he thought one of them was Derek Reddin and that he saw Reddin pulling a balaclava over his face.

He said Reddin struck him twice with a baseball bat and Lacey took a “work knife” from his pocket. He said Reddin lunged at him with a bat and he, Lacey, “had the knife open to repel Reddin”. Ms Lacey said the accused then described a “scuffle” in which both the accused and deceased fell to the ground and Lacey said he wasn’t aware that he had stabbed Reddin.

In his garda interviews, Lacey also told gardaí that there had been trouble between his family and Derek Reddin and that Reddin must have mistaken Lacey for one of his cousins. He said that he “never had any dealings” with Reddin but did know him to see.

Ms Lacey said that if Mr Lacey raises self-defence as a defence to the murder charge, the prosecution must prove that he used more force than was reasonably necessary and that he did not believe at the time that he was acting in self-defence. She said the prosecution case “in a nutshell” is “that the accused did use more force than was reasonably necessary and at the time he knew himself that it was unreasonable.”

The trial continues before Ms Justice Mary Ellen Ring and a jury of eight men and four women.