Murder accused denies targeting left side of deceased's upper body

Murder Accused Denies Targeting Left Side Of Deceased's Upper Body
A murder accused has denied to his trial that he used a phone to film and photograph the scene of the fatal stabbing to show others what he had done.
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Eoin Reynolds

A murder accused has denied to his trial that he used a phone to film and photograph the scene of the fatal stabbing to show others what he had done.

Andrew Lacey also denied on Tuesday that during the fatal "scuffle" he targeted the left side of Derek Reddin's upper body with a knife and deliberately stabbed him through the chest.


Mr Lacey denies murdering Mr Reddin, after Mr Reddin attacked him late at night in a south Dublin suburb as part of a feud between associates of both men. Mr Lacey on Tuesday completed two days of evidence and cross-examination having taken the stand in his own defence.

He told prosecution counsel Roisin Lacey SC that he did not intend to harm anyone and only produced a knife after Mr Reddin "lunged" at him with a baseball bat.

Ms Lacey put it to the accused that three slash marks and two stab cuts on the left side of Mr Reddin's clothing contradict Mr Lacey's claim that he simply held the knife out to repel Mr Reddin's attack and that the stabbing was accidental.

She said the cuts and the fatal stab wound in which the entire 8.5cm blade of the knife penetrated the deceased's chest showed that Mr Lacey was "targeting the left-hand side of his body".


Mr Lacey said "that's incorrect" and later told Ms Lacey: "I didn't target any side of the body. I literally held the knife out, trying to repel him." He said he does not remember stabbing Mr Reddin and described the incident that led to the fatal stabbing as a "slight scuffle".


Mr Lacey denied the evidence of another witness, David Howard, who said that he saw Mr Lacey "straddling" Mr Reddin on the ground and "digging the knife into him".

The accused further denied trying to make his own story look better by making up a claim about seeing Mr Reddin use the bat to repeatedly strike Mr Lacey's friend.

He accepted that he initially lied to gardaí when he said that Mr Reddin and another man attacked him with a knife and two bats but insisted that Mr Reddin did have a baseball bat.


He could not say what happened to the bat and accepted that gardai who searched the area found only a narrow iron bar that does not resemble the weapon described by Mr Lacey.

The trial has heard that there was an ongoing feud between associates of the accused and Mr Reddin prior to the stabbing. Mr Reddin's cousin David Howard has previously told the trial that Mr Reddin went to Loughlinstown that night for a "straightener" or a "boxing match" with Mr Lacey.

Mr Lacey was seen on CCTV leaving the Lough Inn pub with a friend at about 11.40pm and going to a nearby takeaway.

The two men were walking along Loughlinstown Drive with their food when they encountered Mr Reddin and Mr Howard.


The prosecution alleges that Mr Lacey stabbed Mr Reddin and did so knowing that the force he was using was more than was reasonably necessary for self-defence.

Mr Lacey has told the jury that the knife was one he used in his work with the parks department of Dun Laoghaire Rathdown County Council. He said he would use it for cutting sacks, cords or other odd jobs and didn't realise it was in his pocket when he left home to go to the pub earlier that evening.

Mr Lacey described the encounter, saying that Mr Reddin ran at him and attacked him with a baseball bat leading to a scuffle in which they both fell to the ground. Mr Lacey said he stood up and produced the knife hoping that it would make Mr Reddin and his friend run away but Mr Reddin "lunged" at him leading to a second scuffle in which they both fell to the ground.

Both men again got to their feet, but Mr Lacey said he saw Mr Reddin fall to the ground a short time later. He said he didn't realise at the time the seriousness of the injury and called police to report that he had been attacked.


Mobile phone evidence showed that before calling gardai, Mr Lacey phoned his brother Kevin and another man. Ms Lacey said both Kevin Lacey and the other man were involved in the feud, and she put it to Mr Lacey that he phoned them to tell them he had killed Derek Reddin.

Mr Lacey said he phoned them because he wanted them to contact his wife either by calling to her house or through Instagram because her phone number wasn't working at that time. He accepted that he could have contacted his wife using WhatsApp but said he didn't think of that at the time.

Mr Lacey said he used his friend's phone to take photographs at the scene because he was worried that Mr Howard was trying to get Mr Reddin into his car to get away.

He said he wanted to preserve the evidence that he had been attacked and denied that he filmed and photographed the scene to show others what he had done to Mr Reddin. At that time, he said, he didn't know Mr Reddin had been fatally wounded.

He accepted that he lied to emergency services and continued to lie when he told a garda at the scene that one of his attackers had a knife and both had bats. He said he told gardai the truth the following day and said his version of what happened is the truth.

Ms Lacey said "I have to put it to you that you deliberately dug that knife into the left side of Derek Reddin." "That's incorrect," he replied.

Ms Lacey continued "And you did so with the intention to kill him or at the very least to cause serious injury." Mr Lacey replied "I didn't mean to cause anyone any harm on that night."

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.

Following Mr Lacey's evidence, the defence called Gerard Ellis, a horticulturist who worked with Mr Lacey until May of this year. Mr Ellis told Dominic McGinn SC, for the defence, that there would be "nothing unusual" about a general operative such as Mr Lacey carrying his own knife and bringing it home with him after work. He said there is no protocol for what workers should do with their own knives when off-duty.

Damien Tallant told Mr McGinn that he is a general operative working with Mr Lacey. He said he has four knives and would use them on average once a week. He said he usually puts them in his car after work but would sometimes unintentionally leave one in his pocket.

The trial continues in front of Ms Justice Mary Ellen Ring and a jury of eight men and four women.

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