Murder victim had 30 stab wounds, says State Pathologist

Professor Marie Cassidy

The State Pathologist has told the trial of a man accused of murdering a father-of-one in North Dublin that the deceased had 30 stab wounds.

Andrew Gibney (aged 21) of Drumheath Avenue, Mulhuddart has pleaded not guilty to murdering Gerard Burnett (28) at Castlecurragh Vale, Mulhuddart on August 21, 2012.

Professor Marie Cassidy told Mr Tom O’Connell SC prosecuting there were 30 wounds to Mr Burnett’s head and body but only six were deep and fatal.

She said the cause of death was multiple stab wounds and blood loss due to injuries to the right lung, heart and liver.

Prof Cassidy said the majority of the wounds were caused by a single sharp-edged knife and that moderate force was used.

She said Mr Burnett would have been capable of struggling with an assailant for a short time after the attack.

Prof Cassidy said no alcohol was detected in the blood or urine but some diazepam was found in the samples.

She agreed with Mr Giollaiosa O Lideadha SC defending that it is likely two different knives were used and possibly three.

Prof Cassidy also agreed that she was not contending that knives shown to the court were the one used in the attack.

She further agreed that the multiplicity of injuries suggested a struggle may have taken place and that there was more than one assailant.

Prof Cassidy told the court that in dynamic situations such as this, injuries can land anywhere on the body.

Anne-Marie Corbett testified that she was working in an upstairs bedroom of her home in Castlecurragh Vale on the night of the incident when she heard a noise on the road.

Ms Corbett told Mr Seamus Clarke BL prosecuting she heard banging and hitting noises like someone being thumped or kicked.

Shortly afterwards she said she heard someone shouting “Denise, Denise” and saw three guys running diagonally across the road.

Ms Corbett said she saw one of the men with something in his right hand and told gardaí they all ran towards the main road.

Her husband David Corbett testified that he was watching TV and heard raised voices outside, which sounded like an argument.

He told Mr Clarke he saw three lads running by on the road towards Drumheath.

Mr Corbett told the court two other men ran by, one of whom had tight red hair, was of average height and was holding a glass or a bottle but said he could not describe the second male.

He said he heard someone shouting “Denise” and did realise someone had been assaulted until emergency services arrived.

Mr Burnett’s partner Denise Farrell previously told the court she was in her house on that night and that their son was in bed asleep when the doorbell rang.

Ms Farrell said she saw three men at the door, there was some sort of knife in one of the men’s hands and Mr Burnett was dragged outside.

The trial is now in legal argument and will continue in evidence on Wednesday.

The court previously heard Mr Gibney told gardai that he decided to go to Mr Burnett’s house about a half an hour beforehand and that the events were triggered by alcohol.

When interviewed the accused said he got the knife from his house, then ran back home after the incident and washed the blade in his kitchen.

“I was drunk, I shouldn’t have done what I done, I stabbed him three times,” he said.

“I don’t know what the intention was, my intention wasn’t murder,” he added.

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