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Urantsetseg Tserendorj.

Boy (16) accused of murdering Urantsetseg Tserendorj planned knife robbery, court told

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

A 16-YEAR-old boy on trial accused of the murder of Mongolian national Urantsetseg Tserendorj, who died after being stabbed in the neck on her walk home from work, told gardaí that he went out that night planning to rob someone with a knife.

“I panicked and pulled the knife out of my pocket and stabbed her in the neck. I done it. I didn’t mean to do it. I’m sorry for it,” the accused told gardaí.

Counsel for the prosecution Seán Guerin SC today presented the evidence of four garda witnesses at the trial of the accused, who cannot be named as he is a minor, in the Central Criminal Court.

Garda David O’Callaghan gave evidence that he attended at the home of the accused with a search warrant on 21 January 2021, responding to a complaint of the theft of an electric pedal cycle.

He met with the accused’s grandmother, who informed O’Callaghan that she had spoken to her grandson, and it was his intention to hand himself in.

O’Callaghan confirmed that the accused’s grandmother appeared upset. O’Callaghan went upstairs and met with the accused in his bedroom. When he met the garda, the accused said: “I did it.”

O’Callaghan then cautioned him, and the accused continued to speak. The accused said: “I stabbed that girl. I robbed her. It was me. I stabbed that woman at the CHQ.”

The accused was cautioned again later that evening and was asked to tell the gardaí what happened.

The accused said: “I went out on a bike with a knife to rob someone. I saw a woman with a mask, and I tried to rob her. I panicked and pulled the knife out of my pocket and stabbed her in the neck. I done it. I didn’t mean to do it. I’m sorry for it.”

In response to cross-examination by counsel for the defence, Michael O’Higgins SC, O’Callaghan confirmed that the accused’s grandmother said the accused would hand himself in because “he had done something terrible”.

Garda Mark Barry gave evidence that when he spoke with the accused’s grandmother at the house, she said she knew why the gardaí were there and that it had to do with a robbing incident in which a woman had been stabbed. She said she was trying to get the accused to hand himself in.

Barry confirmed that the accused presented them with a jacket at the house, which was produced in court as a prosecution exhibit.

O’Higgins said that when the gardaí met with the accused’s grandmother, they were at slightly cross purposes. The gardaí were investigating the theft of an electric pedal cycle, but the accused’s grandmother had just learned of his involvement in the stabbing of Ms Tserendorj.

Sgt Desmond Brannock gave evidence that the accused’s grandmother was visibly upset on the day.

“Granny was upset, and the accused was worried,” said Brannock.

In cross-examination, Higgins said that in his original statement, Brannock had said that both the accused and his grandmother had been upset. Brannock confirmed this.

Garda Karl Bolger gave evidence that on 10 February 2021, during a search of the accused’s home, a knife was found concealed in the sofa.

Defence counsel Mark Lynam BL asked Bolger if he had also found butter knives.

Bolger replied that he located butter knives and a black and red-handled knife.

Lynam asked if the cutlery drawer in the house had been missing both knives and forks, to which Bolger replied that it was.

“Did you find any forks in your search of the sofa?” asked Lynam.

Bolger replied he had not.

Lynam said that the accused’s grandmother had said the forks were there too, and he asked Gda Bolger if he recalled this.

Bolger replied he did not.

Garda Maria Harmon gave evidence that she spoke to the accused on 23 January 2021, and he told her: “I did not mean to stab that woman. It was an accident. If I could sit in front of her now, I’d say I’m sorry.”

The witness statement of Krysztof Klimczak, who worked as security at a homeless hostel on Amiens Street, was read out in court by Guerin.

Klimczak said he saw “this guy” going up and down the street on a bicycle in “a very suspicious” way on the night of 18 January 2021. Klimczak said he saw the male again on the following night, 19 January 2021, wearing the same jacket and riding the same bike.

On 20 January 2021, Klimczak was smoking outside the hostel when the male came up to him and asked him for a cigarette.

“I could see his eyes were everywhere, I was sure he was on drugs. He couldn’t concentrate,” said Klimczak.

Klimczak said he saw the male put his hand into his pocket and pull out a knife just far enough to show him before he put the knife back into his pocket.

The witness described the knife as measuring about 25cm long with a chrome blade. The male then took off on his bike.

“I have not seen this guy again since,” said Klimczak.

Ms Tserendorj was stabbed in the neck on a walkway between George’s Dock and Custom House Quay in the IFSC, Dublin on 20 January 2021. The accused has pleaded not guilty to the murder of Ms Tserendorj but guilty to her manslaughter on 29 January 2021.

He has also pleaded guilty to producing a knife and to attempting to rob Ms Tserendorj on 20 January 2021.

The trial continues before a jury of six men and six women and Mr Justice Tony Hunt.

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