A British man who denies murdering an Irish boxing champion "thundered" a jeep into the 20-year-old before driving over him twice at speed, a prosecution barrister has told a murder trial.
The Central Criminal Court trial also heard that boxer Kevin Sheehy and accused man Logan Jackson had "an exchange" moments after leaving a house party, where they had gone to celebrate Limerick’s Munster hurling final victory over Tipperary in 2019.
The court was told that "some exception was taken by something that was said or words spoken".
Mr Jackson (31), with an address at Longford Road, Coventry, England has pleaded not guilty to murder but guilty to Mr Sheehy's manslaughter at Hyde Road in Limerick City on July 1st, 2019.
Mr Sheehy, a five times Irish boxing champion, died after being struck by a vehicle. His body was discovered lying on the road at about 4.40am.
Mr Jackson also denies intentionally or recklessly engaging in conduct which created a substantial risk of death or serious harm to others to with driving a Mitsubishi jeep vehicle dangerously at high speed in the direction of pedestrians on the same occasion.
'Sporting day in a sporting city'
The charge of endangerment is contrary to Section 13 of the Non-Fatal Offences Against the Person Act 1997.
The jury have been told that Mr Jackson is a native of Coventry in the UK and has "some family connections" in Limerick.
Opening the prosecution’s case on Tuesday morning, Dean Kelly SC said the court will hear evidence that Mr Sheehy lost his life in the early hours of the morning of July 1st, 2019. Mr Sheehy lived a mile or two south from where he died on Hyde Road, which is about a 15-minute walk from the city centre.
On the day before the killing, Mr Kelly said it was "a sporting day in a sporting city" and the Munster hurling final was being played "with half of Limerick at the match". Limerick had "hammered" Tipperary "out of the gate" so it was a big day in Limerick City, and the jury will hear from witnesses who had attended the match and pub goers, said the lawyer.
Mr Sheehy had gone to the match with his cousin, and they were both "out and about" that day. In the early hours of the morning, Mr Sheehy and his cousin went to a house party on Hyde Road, where they had chatted to other people.
Outlining the facts of the case, Mr Kelly said there were between 10 and 15 people at the party and at one point the socialising "spilled" out into a neighbouring house, where people knew each other. "In effect it was a coming together and socialising of the most banal and ordinary kind. There was no exceptional aspect to it at all," he said.
The prosecution barrister went on to tell the court that Mr Jackson was also present at the party with his relative. The defendant knew less people at the party as he was not a native of Limerick, he said.
Around 4.30am that morning, Mr Kelly said that Mr Sheehy and his cousin decided to leave the party and head home. "They went out into the street and fell into conversation with Mr Jackson. The conversation took no more than a few moments and was a pretty banal engagement. There may have been some exchange between them and maybe some exception was taken by something that was said or words spoken," he said.
Detailing the evidence that will be heard, Mr Kelly said that Mr Jackson and his relative then left the party. At the same time Mr Sheehy and his cousin had commenced walking down a small road or slip road which was inside the main road.
The court will also hear evidence, the lawyer said, that Mr Jackson got into a large dark-coloured jeep and drove to the end of the road and then "turned it" with force and speed. "He commenced a run back towards where Mr Sheehy and his cousin were walking," said Mr Kelly.
Mr Kelly said that Mr Jackson had "thundered" the car into Mr Sheehy and his cousin but that Mr Sheehy had "bore the impact" of the collision and "went to ground".
"Mr Jackson then wasted no time in turning the jeep again, driving down that road at speed again and driving over the body of Mr Sheehy as he lay on the ground. Mr Sheehy attempted to stand up and not content with that Mr Jackson did that a third time," said counsel.
There will be evidence, Mr Kelly said, that Mr Sheehy suffered injuries of the most serious kind and his death was pronounced very shortly afterwards.
He explained that the State’s case would be that what took place at Hyde Road shortly after 4.30am that morning was murder "as plain and clear as that grievous offence could ever be committed".
The trial continues on Thursday before Ms Justice Eileen Creedon and a jury of six men and six women.