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Friday 1 December 2023 Dublin: 2°C
Sam Boal via Gardaí at the scene of the stabbing in 2019.
aidan mcmenamy

Anthony Paget found guilty of murdering estranged wife's partner

Paget stabbed Aidan McMenamy to death in 2019.

A DUBLIN MAN has been convicted of murdering his estranged wife’s partner by stabbing him seven times after his victim became jealous and attacked him.

Anthony Paget (46) had pleaded not guilty to murder but guilty to manslaughter for the killing of Aidan McMenamy at Clinch’s Court, North Strand Road, Dublin 3 in the early hours of July 19, 2019. The trial heard Paget stabbed Mr McMenamy during an argument over Paget’s estranged wife, Candice.

The jury of six men and six women spent two days considering the evidence they had heard during the week-long trial and today returned a unanimous verdict of guilty of murder.

Paget (46) of Carnlough Road, Cabra, Dublin 7 will be sentenced to life imprisonment after Mr McMenamy’s family delivers an impact statement to the court on Friday May 7.

Giving evidence during the trial Candice Paget said Mr McMenamy, her boyfriend, was jealous that she was spending so much time with the accused, her estranged husband.

All three were together in her home after drinking, taking heroin and smoking crack cocaine when, she said, Mr McMenamy “got it into his head that something was going on” between herself and Paget.

As the row unfolded she said she saw Mr McMenamy reach behind his back, pull out a knife and slash Paget in the face. She stood between the two men to try to stop the fight and she took the knife away.

She said Mr McMenamy then called Paget “out for a knock” and both men went outside where the fight resumed and Paget stabbed Mr McMenamy to death.

The jury heard from Assistant State Pathologist Dr Margot Bolster that Mr McMenamy suffered seven stab wounds, one to the neck and six to the back. They also viewed CCTV footage showing part of the fight that led to the fatal stabbing.

Paget’s barrister Michael Bowman SC told the jury that what they had seen was his client reaching for the knife as “a last resort” when faced with serious injury. He was, counsel said, “entitled to meet fire with fire”.

Ms Justice Eileen Creedon asked the jury to consider whether Paget acted in self-defence, was so provoked by the accused that he lost all self control, or was so intoxicated that he was unable to form an intent. If any of those scenarios was reasonably possible she told the jury to return a verdict of not guilty of murder but guilty of manslaughter.

Prosecution counsel Bernard Condon SC said that Paget’s level of intoxication had not impeded his ability to form an intention and the evidence in the case did not lend itself to self-defence.

He also rejected the suggestion that Paget was “so provoked that he lost all self-control”.

He said there was no reality to the defence of provocation where CCTV footage showed that Paget had the presence of mind to move the knife very deliberately from his left hand into his right hand so he could wield it into the deceased’s neck, the area where it would do the most damage.

Mr Condon reminded the jury to pay attention to the “raw facts” of the case, where six deep stab wounds were inflicted into the back of Mr McMenamy. “That strikes self-defence off the list,” he said, adding that the accused’s behaviour was not consistent with somebody who thought that such force was reasonable.

The lawyer told the jury to consider that Paget had told a member of Dublin Fire Brigade in the hospital on the night that “if someone cuts my face they will end up in Glasnevin”. Mr Condon asked the jury to consider if this was consistent with a man not being able to form an intention.

The barrister drew the jury’s attention to the taps running at Clinch’s Court and to the “clean up job” taking place, when gardai arrived on the night. “Is that consistent with a man exercising a defence of self-defence?” he asked. If Paget was rendered incapable by his intake of intoxicants, why was he washing clothes and attempting to clean up the scene, he asked.

The accused’s interviews were “filled with lies”, counsel said. He pointed to Paget’s refusal to admit it was him in the CCTV footage when it was played to him by gardai. “That is the level of self-serving dishonesty that was being engaged in by Mr Paget and it is not consistent with any of these defences that you might have to consider,” he said.

Retaliation is not self-defence, he explained, and it does not give one a licence to kill somebody with six stab wounds to the back. The law requires you to exercise restraint and there was ample opportunity for Paget to avoid the confrontation, he said. “Whoever started the fight, Mr Paget certainly put an end to it,” he said.

Going through the evidence in the trial, Mr Condon said that this case was really about “drunken rage” and people must be responsible for their actions. When the accused told gardai in his interviews that he did not stab the deceased, Mr Condon said this was a “self-serving way” of avoiding responsibility and he asked the jury to return a verdict of murder.

Closing the defence case, Michael Bowman SC told the court that Mr Condon seemed to have forgotten that the deceased had a six-inch blade intentionally strapped to the inside of his right wrist on the night and had charged at his client. “It is in black and white who started the row and Mr McMenamy had persisted with it,” he argued. Paget was not a man with murder in his mind that night and the injuries to his finger confirmed it was a defensive wound, he said.

Mr Bowman said that while Paget was not truthful or coherent in his interviews, he asked if it could really be said that they were self-serving. “The interviews are reflective of a state of mind from years of drug abuse. If he is self-serving surely to god he would have come up with a self-serving set of events,” he said.

He noted that the fight had occurred at around 3.45am on the back end of a long, hard day of substance abuse.