A young Dublin man has been found guilty of murder for stabbing a homeless man with cerebral palsy 183 times in a Dublin park.
Philip Dunbar (20) of Glenshane Drive, Tallaght, Dublin 24 had pleaded not guilty to the murder of Adam Muldoon (23) at Butler Park in Jobstown Park, Tallaght on June 22nd or June 23rd, 2018.
The defendant's friend told the trial that Dunbar had boasted about the murder and told him he had put Mr Muldoon "out of his misery".
The witness said Dunbar had told him: "Now I know what it's like to be a killer. I know how it feels to be a killer."
Mr Muldoon, who had a pronounced limp and used a Zimmer frame to get around, was found the following morning with extensive wounds including defensive injuries to his hands.
Later that night Dunbar went to a garda station and said he remembered going into the park with Mr Muldoon and leaving some time later.
He said he knew he had stabbed Mr Muldoon but had a "blackout" and had no memory of the actual stabbing. He would also tell gardai and psychiatrists that he was addicted to pills including Benzodiazepines and had been drinking and smoking cannabis before the attack.
His defence argued that he was so intoxicated that he was not able to form the necessary intent for murder. He also said he had been seeing things and hearing voices in his head for months in the lead-up to the attack.
The jury of six men and five women rejected his defence, returning a unanimous guilty verdict after just under three hours of deliberations.
Dunbar immediately stood up to leave court when the verdict was revealed. As members of Mr Muldoon's family left the court in tears, one of them shouting towards Dunbar: "Who's laughing now?" Dunbar replied: "Shut your mouth, you," as prison officers ushered him into the cell area.
He will be sentenced to the mandatory term of life imprisonment for murder this Friday when members of Mr Muldoon's family will make a statement to the court.
Mr Justice Paul McDermott thanked the jury and exempted them from further service.
Evidence in trial
Mr Muldoon was living as a homeless person in Tallaght before he died. The community in Glenshane would support him by feeding him and giving him clothes. He knew Dunbar and on the sunny summer evening before he died he was hanging out with a small group of young people from the area including his killer.
Most of the group went home some time around 11pm and at 23.50 a camera attached to a house in Glenshane Drive caught Dunbar leading Mr Muldoon into the park, helping him over a low wall on the way in. Some 23 minutes later Dunbar, having carried out the murder, could be seen back in Glenshane Drive on his own.
At one point he held Mr Muldoon's Zimmer frame over his head as he walked towards his grandmother's house, where he was living at the time.
Having visited his own home Dunbar then went to a friend's house where he admitted he had just stabbed "Floater". That friend gave evidence that Dunbar had arrived at his home still carrying the bloody knife and "boasted" about the murder, telling him he had put Mr Muldoon "out of his misery".
Now I know what it's like to be a killer. I know how it feels to be a killer
He said Dunbar had said for a long time that he wanted to put Mr Muldoon out of his misery and that he wanted to know what it was like to kill someone. He said the accused told him: "Now I know what it's like to be a killer. I know how it feels to be a killer."
The witness said Mr Dunbar told him that he knew Mr Muldoon was dead "the second I got him in the neck" but that he "kept going and kept going" changing the hand that he was holding the knife in so that he could keep going.
The following morning at about 9am the witness said Mr Dunbar called to his home again and they went together to the Square in Tallaght and then to nearby Sean Walsh Park where the accused threw the knife into a lake.
Dunbar's defence suggested to the jury that this witness, who cannot be named by order of the court, was present when the stabbing took place, a suggestion the witness strongly denied.
183 stab wounds
Mr Muldoon's body was discovered early the following morning and pathologist Dr Margaret Bolster identified 183 stab wounds. Wounds to the carotid artery in the neck and to the liver and lungs were fatal and she further noted defensive wounds to his hands.
That Saturday night, about 24 hours after the stabbing, Dunbar went with his grandmother and other relatives to a garda station. He revealed that he had gone into the park with Mr Muldoon and had a "blackout" but that he knew he had stabbed Mr Muldoon.
Prosecution counsel Pauline Walley SC described Dunbar's claims of intoxication as "self-serving" and pointed out that the list of substances he said he was abusing grew over time as he spoke to gardai and later to psychiatrists.
In his summary to the jury Mr Justice Paul McDermott said that the central issue in the case was whether Dunbar had the intention necessary for a murder conviction.
He asked them to consider the evidence of Dr Brenda Wright who had concluded that while Dunbar did not have a mental condition he was intoxicated at the time and had he not been intoxicated he would not have behaved as he did.
Mr McDermott said that if Dunbar's intoxication was such that he was unable to form an intent then he should be found guilty of manslaughter and not murder. He added that if they were satisfied he killed him and that he intended to kill or cause serious injury then they should find him guilty of murder.