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Urantsetseg Tserendorj trial: Grandmother of murder accused told gardaí he had 'done something terrible'

Urantsetseg Tserendorj was stabbed while walking home in the IFSC in January 2021.

WHEN GARDAÍ INVESTIGATING a stolen electronic bike called to the home of the teenager accused of murdering Urantsetseg Tserendorj, his grandmother told them that the boy had “done something terrible”, the Central Criminal Court has heard.

When gardaí spoke to the accused he told them: “I stabbed that girl, I robbed her, it was me.”

Garda David O’Callaghan told prosecution counsel Sean Gillane SC that he called to the accused’s home with a search warrant relating to the theft of the bike on 21 January 2021. Urantsetseg Tserendorj had been stabbed the previous day.

The garda called the boy’s grandmother on the phone and told her he was outside her home and was intending to execute the warrant. She told the garda that she had just been speaking with the accused and that he was going to hand himself in to a garda station because he had “done something terrible”.

O’Callaghan knocked on the door which was answered by the boy’s grandmother. She was visibly upset, the garda said. When O’Callaghan found the accused in his bedroom sitting on his bed, the accused said: “I did it.”

O’Callaghan cautioned the youth who continued to speak, saying: “I stabbed that girl, I robbed her, it was me, I stabbed that woman at CHQ.”

Gardaí brought the boy downstairs where he was cautioned again in front of his grandmother before O’Callaghan asked him what happened.

The boy replied: “I went out on a bike with a knife on me to rob someone. I was around CHQ. I saw a woman with a mask on and I went to rob her. I panicked. I pulled a knife out of my pocket. I stabbed that woman in the neck. I done it. I didn’t mean to do it. I’m sorry for it.”

O’Callaghan wrote what the boy told him in his garda notebook and both he and the accused signed the note.

The accused, who can’t be identified as he is a minor, has pleaded not guilty to the murder of Urantsetseg Tserendorj but guilty to her manslaughter on 29 January 2021. The State did not accept his plea.

He has also pleaded guilty to producing a knife and to attempting to rob Urantsetseg Tserendorj on a walkway between George’s Dock and Custom House Quay in the IFSC, Dublin on 20 January 2021.

Urantsetseg Tserendorj was able to walk to Connolly Station after the stabbing but when she arrived at the Mater hospital in an ambulance, she began to have trouble breathing and went into cardiac arrest. She was pronounced dead nine days later.

A pathologist told the trial that she died from loss of oxygen to the brain caused by a single stab wound that partially severed the main artery bringing blood to the brain.

Garda Maria Harmon told Gillane that when she spoke to the accused on 23 January 2021, two days after the stabbing, he told her: “I didn’t mean to stab that woman you know. It was an accident and if I could sit in front of her now I would say I’m sorry.”

Garda Karl Bolger told Gillane that he called to the accused’s home on 10 February 2021, less than one month after Urantsetseg Tserendorj was stabbed. Gardaí again searched the house and when Bolger overturned the cushions of a sofa in the living room, he found a knife with a brown and black handle.

He seized the knife, which was produced in court and identified by Bolger. The witness agreed with defence counsel Michael O’Higgins SC that there were various items found in the sofa and there is no way of knowing how or when the knife and other items got there.

The jury has also today viewed CCTV footage showing the moment Urantsetseg Tserendorj was stabbed and the movements of the accused, who was cycling around Dublin city centre before and after.

Gillane told Ms Justice Mary Ellen Ring and the jury of seven women and five men that he expects the prosecution evidence to finish early on Monday morning before the next phase of the trial begins.