Central Criminal Court

Jury hears Louth man accused of stabbing male 28 times was not home on night of alleged incident

Court

Aoife Nic Ardghail

Reporter:

Aoife Nic Ardghail

Jury hears Louth man accused of stabbing male 28 times was not home on night of alleged incident

Central Criminal Court

A jury has heard that a man accused of stabbing another male 28 times was not at home the night of the alleged incident, despite being under curfew.

Detective Garda Karl Mannion old Patrick Gageby SC, prosecuting, that he had called to Paul Crosby's home just before 10pm on November 10, 2016, but the accused was not there.

The jury heard that Mr Crosby (23) had been on bail for allegedly smashing windows at Gerard Boyle's home months earlier and had a curfew of 9pm to 8am.

Mr Crosby, of Rathmullen Park, Drogheda, Co Louth, has pleaded not guilty to the attempted murder of Mr Boyle (33) at Knockcommon, Beauparc, Slane, on November 10, 2016.

Mr Crosby has also pleaded not guilty to falsely imprisoning and intentionally or recklessly causing serious harm to Mr Boyle on the same occasion.

Mr Boyle earlier told the jury that he managed to escape the boot of a car that was pushed into a canal after being stabbed by the accused.

Detective Garda Kathryn Christie said the accused spoke with a solicitor after his arrest two weeks later and provided a statement to say he was either at home or in his aunt's house that night.

In his closing address, Mr Gageby said the issues the jury has to decide is who committed the crime and where was Mr Crosby that night. He suggested that though Mr Boyle is not of “impeccable character” or “gifted with a scholarly mind”, it was clear he suffered injury.

He reminded the jury of garda evidence that Mr Crosby was not at home and about the same time there was radio communication about a car possibly heading towards Drogheda from Slane.

He suggested the jury should examine very carefully Mr Crosby's statement through his solicitor that he was either at home or with his aunt, as that is the defence in this case.

Mr Gageby said Mr Crosby would have been “amazingly unlucky” not to be home when Mr Boyle “with his enormous intelligence” implicated him in the attack.

Counsel suggested that the curfew placed on Mr Crosby, after being charged with breaking windows at Mr Boyle's home, was a matter of some importance. He described having a curfew as “irksome” and “not a pleasant thing” and that this was a substantial motive to do damage to Mr Boyle.

He pointed to another garda's evidence that Mr Crosby signed a station document with his left hand and Mr Boyle's testimony that the accused had been wearing a glove on this same hand during the stabbing.

Mr Grehan, in his closing speech, said the prosecution had done a fine job of showing Mr Crosby had not been home, but had educed “not a shred” about whether he'd been at his aunt's house.

He told the jury there was no evidence to say his client had not been at this second location.

"If he was home or at his auntie's or out doing what young people do, that doesn't help you, you have to say 'can I rely on what Mr Boyle told us in the witness box', despite the fact he changes his story and admits he lied to gardaí,” Mr Grehan said.

He reminded the jurors of Mr Gageby's assertion in his opening speech, that if Mr Boyle did not persuade them, then there was no case.

Mr Grehan asked the jurors if they could rely on Mr Boyle after he “blatantly and candidly” said he lied and misled gardaí investigating the matter.

Mr Grehan said there was “no phone evidence...call records or texts, no fingerprints, no CCTV of (Mr Crosby and Mr Boyle) together at any stage, no eyewitnesses who had seen them together.”

He said the gardaí had seen another person driving a different Ford Fiesta and that there was no suggestion the car's other occupant at the time had been his client.

He described Mr Gageby's suggestion that the murder motive was because Mr Crosby had broken windows in Mr Boyle's home as “frankly ridiculous”.

He said “we've had out of Mr Boyle's mouth” that after breaking the windows Mr Crosby had offered to pay €500.

Mr Grehan reminded the jury of Mr Boyle's explanations for some information found on his phone. He said the explanation about roofing measurements was “total nonsense”.

“If you lie about small things, how can you believe somebody to the standard required on something big?” he asked.

He suggested that Mr Boyle cannot be believed beyond a reasonable doubt and said the appropriate verdict is an acquittal.

The trial continues before Ms Justice Carmel Stewart and a jury of three women and nine men.