Murder trial hears Dublin man was stabbed 30 times

The trial of a man accused of murdering a father-of-one has heard the deceased sustained 30 stab wounds.

Andrew Gibney (aged 21) of Drumheath Avenue, Mulhuddart has pleaded not guilty to murdering Gerard Burnett (aged 28) at Castlecurragh Vale, Mulhuddart on August 21, 2012.

Mr Burnett suffered 30 stab wounds and was pronounced dead in hospital a short time later, the Central Criminal Court heard.

The accused told gardaí that Mr Burnett stabbed Mr Gibney in the shoulder with a screwdriver four years previously.

Mr Tom O’Connell SC prosecuting told the jury in his opening speech the accused was 20, Mr Burnett was 28 at the time of the incident and they both lived in Mulhuddart.

He said that Mr Gibney and a number of other men went to Mr Burnett’s house in Castlecurragh Avenue shortly before midnight.

Mr O’Connell said that two of the men were armed with knives and when the doorbell rang Mr Burnett opened the door and he was set upon.

He said that Mr Gibney was armed with a knife and that he participated in the stabbing of Mr Burnett.

A week later Mr Gibney’s house was searched by gardaí and the next day he visited Blanchardstown Garda Station with his father where he admitted the stabbing.

“I was involved in an incident, the chap is dead now and I need to give him peace,” Mr Gibney told gardaí.

Mr Gibney was later arrested and he told gardaí that he used the knife on Mr Burnett three times.

He told gardaí that he decided to go to Mr Burnett’s house about a half an hour beforehand and that the events were triggered by alcohol.

When interviewed the accused said he got the knife from his house, then ran back home after the incident and washed the blade in his kitchen.

“I was drunk, I shouldn’t have done what I done, I stabbed him three times,” he said.

“I don’t know what the intention was, my intention wasn’t murder,” he added.

Mr Gibney identified two knives to gardaí, the court also heard.

Mr O’Connell told the jury that that drunkenness is not a defence to murder and that it was premeditated because it was contemplated half an hour before.

Mr Burnett’s partner Denise Farrell told Mr O’Connell that she was also in the house on that night and that their son was in bed asleep.

Ms Farrell said the doorbell rang and she told Mr Burnett not to answer it but that he did.

She said he opened the door slightly and a man asked him “are you Gerard Burnett?”

When Mr Burnett said that he was the man replied “you’re f**king dead.”

She said she saw three men at the door and there was some sort of knife in one of the men’s hands.

Ms Farrell said that after Mr Burnett was dragged outside, she closed the door behind them.

She ran upstairs to get her child before leaving the house through the back door and over the garden fence.

Under cross-examination by Giollaiosa O Lideadha SC, defending, Ms Farrell said there were a number of reasons why she told her partner not to answer the door.

She said that Mr Burnett sold ecstasy and wine to people if the off-licence was shut but that people would usually ring before calling up to the house.

Ms Farrell agreed that Mr Burnett and Mr Gibney previously had a “straightener” in which the deceased stabbed the accused in the back.

She further agreed that Mr Burnett had carried out burglaries, stolen cars and that gardaí knew he was “no angel”.

State Pathologist Professor Marie Cassidy said that the cause of death was multiple stab wounds to the heart, right lung and liver.

She said the death may not have been immediate and Mr Burnett may have struggled for a short time afterwards.

The trial continues before a jury of nine men and three women with Mr Justice Patrick McCarthy presiding.

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