Father of five tells murder trial he was going home to 'wife and kids' when he was attacked

Father Of Five Tells Murder Trial He Was Going Home To 'Wife And Kids' When He Was Attacked
Andrew Lacey (pictured) has pleaded not guilty to the murder of Derek Reddin (31) in October 2019. Photo: Collins
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Eoin Reynolds

A father of five has told his own murder trial that he was going home to his "wife and kids" when he was attacked by two men and used a knife to repel them.

Andrew Lacey accepted under cross-examination that he initially lied when he phoned emergency services and said two men had attacked him with knives. But he insisted that the deceased, Derek Reddin, seemed "nearly possessed" and "swung wildly" at his head with a metal bar or a bat.


Mr Lacey told his own counsel that he was "terrified" and produced a knife that was in his jacket pocket in the hope that it would make Mr Reddin run away.

He added: "I thought I was going to go home to my wife and kids, I never thought anything like this, I never thought I was going to be attacked on my way home. It was a regular Monday night up to this."

He said he feels "terrible" about what happened to Mr Reddin. "I never meant anyone any harm. I was just trying to repel them from the situation," he said.

The trial has previously heard that there was a feud between associates of Mr Lacey and the deceased.


Night out

Mr Lacey (35), of Riverside, Loughlinstown, Co Dublin has pleaded not guilty to the murder of Derek Reddin (31) at Loughlinstown Drive on a date unknown between October 14th and October 15th, 2019, both dates inclusive.

Mr Lacey told his defence counsel Dominic McGinn SC that he has five children and works for the Parks Department of Dún Laoghaire Rathdown County Council as a general operative.

On the night of the stabbing, he went to the Lough Inn in Loughlinstown to play darts with the pub darts team. He said he was running late when he left his home, so he grabbed his work jacket without thinking. In a pocket of the jacket was a folding knife that he used for various jobs while at work.

He spent several hours in the pub, went to a takeaway next door and was walking home eating his food with a friend along Loughlinstown Drive when he noticed "two guys coming out of the hedge".


He said the man he recognised as Mr Reddin pulled a balaclava over his face and was carrying a metal baseball bat. "Derek was straight on top of me. I didn't get a chance to look around," he said.

He said Mr Reddin "struck me on the head straight away with the baton. I shouted, "it's [the feud's] nothing to do with me" and we ended up getting in a scuffle going across the road." He added Mr Reddin was "swinging wildly" and struck him "roughly two times" on the head and at least once on the hand during the first altercation.

Mr Lacey said: "I was trying to fight him back, push him back with my hands."

They fell to the ground and, he said, he heard the metallic sound of the bat hitting the ground as it fell from Mr Reddin's hands. Mr Lacey said he then took the knife from his pocket, opened it and shouted: "This has nothing to do with us."


He said he held the knife out "hoping to repel them, I was hoping he'd run away". He said Mr Reddin retrieved the bat and "came lunging at me with the baseball bat".

"The two of us connected and the two of us fell on the ground again," he said, adding they scuffled for five or 10 seconds. He told his counsel that he had the knife to "repel them, to ward them off".

"I was terrified, I never meant for any of this to happen," he said.

'Expecting trouble'

He said he did not know the extent of Mr Reddin's injuries at first, and went to his friend, who he said was lying in the middle of the road having been attacked by Mr Reddin's friend. Mr Lacey phoned his brother Kevin Lacey, who did not answer, so he called another friend.


He explained that his wife did not have a phone and he wanted one of them to contact her through Instagram to tell her he would not be home on time because he had been attacked.

He then phoned emergency services and asked for Gardaí. He did not contact the ambulance, he said, because he did not know at that point the seriousness of Mr Reddin's injury.

Under cross-examination, Mr Lacey denied to Roisin Lacey SC for the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) that he was carrying the knife because he was "expecting trouble".

Ms Lacey played CCTV footage of Mr Lacey and his friend walking just moments before the encounter in which she said Mr Lacey can be seen putting his hand in his jacket pocket after turning his head towards where Mr Reddin was waiting for him.

He denied that he "knew there was something coming" and was doing a "security check" to make sure the knife was still in his pocket.

He denied that in the immediate aftermath that he knew Mr Reddin was dead and phoned his brother and the second man, who Ms Lacey said were involved in the feud, to tell them that he had killed Derek Reddin.

He also denied asking his friend what he should say to gardai and denied that his friend told him to lie that he had been attacked by men with knives and batons.

Mr Lacey denied lying about being attacked with a baseball bat but said he didn't get a clear view of the weapon, couldn't be sure what it was and only knew it was metal because he heard the sound of it hitting the ground.

Ms Lacey will continue the cross-examination on Tuesday in front of Ms Justice Mary Ellen Ring and a jury of eight men and four women.

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