Limerick man accused of murdering pensioner with sweeping brush

A young Limerick man has gone on trial at the Central Criminal Court charged with murdering a man at his home using a sweeping brush.

Christopher McNamara (aged 21) of Good Shepherd Villas, Pennywell road in Limerick has pleaded not guilty to the murder of James Boyce at St Munchins Street, St Mary’s Park in Limerick between March 6, 2011 and March 7, 2011.

Michael O’Higgins, prosecuting opened the trial for the jury today.

He said that the accused is believed to have visited the deceased James Boyce (aged 71) on Sunday night the 6, March 2011 and a second time after midnight.

It is the prosecutors case that McNamara murdered Mr Boyce by assaulting him with a sweeping brush in his own home.

A post-mortem exam found that he had received several blows to the neck where it is believed the fatal blow was delivered.

The court heard that former defence force member, Boyce kept a significant amount of cash in his bedroom at his home in St Munchin’s street.

The prosecutor said that Christopher McNamara stole a significant amount of cash from Mr Boyce. The jury was told that the accused had repeatedly assaulted Mr Boyce using the handle of a brush until Boyce was dead.

One close friend and neighbour of James Boyce told the jury that she became worried when she noticed that his curtains had not been opened the following day.

Josephine Cora McNamara of St Munchin’s Park was giving evidence at the Central Criminal Court.

"I lived next door to Jimmy for years and moved across the road when I got married," she said.

"He lived with his mother and brother and looked after his brother after his mother died. Jimmy received meals on wheels from Monday to Friday but he didn’t collect his meal that Monday.

"I became worried when I saw the curtains were drawn in the sitting room since that was the first thing he normally did in the morning."

The jury was told that CCTV footage proving that the accused was present at the address of the deceased will be presented in the coming days.

The trial, which continues before Mr Justice Gareth Sheehan and a jury of seven men and five women, is expected to last two weeks.

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