Accused acted in fear during "terrifying brawl", Azzam Raguragui case hears

18-year-old Azzam Raguragui was fatally stabbed at Finsbury Park, Dundrum, Dublin 14 on May 10th last year

A teenager accused of murder acted in fear during a "terrifying brawl" after seeing his friend being being beaten and kicked on the ground, a barrister has told the Central Criminal Court.

Michael Bowman SC, acting for the 17-year-old accused, said his client believed he was acting in self defence and should be found guilty of manslaughter and not murder. He said a fight broke out which "spiralled out of control due to a combination of youthful male posturing, fear, adrenaline, immaturity and lack of judgement by a lot of people, but principally [the accused]."

James Dwyer SC for the prosecution said the boy, who cannot be identified because he is a minor, showed a "clear intent" to kill or cause serious harm when he stabbed Azzam Raguragui (18) in the chest and back.

Mr Dwyer told the jury of six men and six women that the accused had armed himself with a knife and assembled a group to confront Azzam and his friends. His behaviour, counsel said, before, during and after showed a "clear intent". He further described a statement the accused made to gardai as a "hastily prepared work of fiction that does not hold up to even the slightest scrutiny."

The accused has pleaded guilty guilty to manslaughter but not guilty to the murder of Mr Raguragui at Finsbury Park, Dundrum, Dublin 14 on May 10, 2019.

Mr Dwyer told the jury that to be guilty of murder the accused must have intended to kill or cause serious injury. He explained that the accused is presumed to intend the natural and probable consequences of his actions and added that the natural and probable consequences of stabbing someone in the way Mr Raguragui was stabbed is serious harm "at the very least".

In his charge to the jury Mr Justice Paul McDermott said that if they find that the accused honestly believed that he was acting in self-defence but used more force than a reasonable person would consider necessary then he should be found not guilty of murder but guilty of manslaughter. If the prosecution has proved beyond reasonable doubt that he knowingly used more force than was necessary then he is guilty of murder, the judge said. Mr Justice McDermott will complete his charge to the jury on Tuesday.