Teen witness breaks down as she tells murder trial of attempt to find Josh Dunne's pulse

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Teen Witness Breaks Down As She Tells Murder Trial Of Attempt To Find Josh Dunne's Pulse Teen Witness Breaks Down As She Tells Murder Trial Of Attempt To Find Josh Dunne's Pulse
George Gonzaga Bento (36), a Brazilian national with an address in East Wall in Dublin 3, is charged with murdering 16-year-old Josh Dunne (pictured) at East Wall Road. Photo: File image
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Alison O'Riordan

A 17-year-old witness broke down on Monday as she told a murder trial of how she tried to find a pulse on fatally stabbed schoolboy Josh Dunne but couldn't, telling the court: "He took a big breath and I remember his eyes rolling back".

Under cross-examination, another witness, who cannot be named because he is also underage, agreed with the defence counsel that there was nothing in CCTV footage which suggested that Mr Dunne had tried to stop the fight in East Wall and that instead the deceased had "rushed" towards one of the food delivery cyclists.

George Gonzaga Bento (36), a Brazilian national with an address in East Wall in Dublin 3, is charged with murdering 16-year-old Mr Dunne at East Wall Road, East Wall on January 26th, 2021.

Mr Bento is also accused of producing an article in a manner likely to intimidate another in the course of a dispute or fight, namely a utility knife. The defendant is further accused of assault causing harm to two other young men on the same occasion. The delivery cyclist has pleaded not guilty to each of the four counts.

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The prosecution alleges that Mr Bento, a delivery cyclist, produced a knife during a "stand-off or confrontation" with a man on a moped who had stolen another delivery cyclist's bike. Mr Dunne and other youths arrived at the scene and got involved in the confrontation.

Giving evidence today, the girl, who cannot be named because she is a child, told Garret Baker BL, prosecuting, that she saw a group of people fighting on the opposite side of East Wall Road on January 26th.

999 call

The witness said she rang 999 from her mobile phone at 9.22pm after one of the boys told her to call an ambulance. She said the dispatcher had asked her what happened, but that she was crossing the road at the time and did not know.

"She [the dispatcher] said 'what is the emergency' and I ran over to the other side of the road." The girl agreed with Mr Baker that it was Mr Dunne on the ground and she started to cry, saying: "He wasn't talking".

When asked to recall the condition of Mr Dunne's clothing, she said: "His jacket had a rip under the rib, I couldn't see blood or anything". The witness said that she and two others were on the ground with him.

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"The ambulance told us to check if we could feel a pulse, we couldn't, we kept trying to feel but we couldn't find anything," she continued. The ambulance arrived five minutes later.

She told the jury that Mr Dunne had taken a big breath before the ambulance arrived and she remembered his eyes rolling back.

Earlier, a 16-year-old boy, who cannot be named because he is underage, told Mr Baker that he was at the back of the group that night so did not really see much.

"Josh was the first person to go. There was a man being attacked on the floor by two Deliveroo drivers," he said.

When asked what he had seen Mr Dunne do, the boy said he saw the deceased trying to get in the middle of the fight and stop it. "Josh got hit and it all kicked off," he continued.

"Josh got hit in the face and Josh continued to try and separate it and got hit again," continued the boy.

Knife

The boy said he saw a knife at one point when he crossed the road but "not clearly". He said he saw another boy get stabbed.

When asked who he saw stab Mr Dunne and the other boy, the witness said the Deliveroo driver dressed in blue. When asked by Mr Baker if he was sure about this, the boy said he was and that Mr Dunne was stabbed in the hand, stomach and chest.

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Under cross-examination, the witness told Padraig Dwyer SC, defending, that he did not have a good memory of events.

Mr Dwyer suggested to the boy that he had told a lot of lies to the jury and asked him if he wanted to change his testimony. The boy declined.

"You said the man in the blue stabbed Josh, you're the only witness in the trial that said the man in the blue stabbed anyone, every other witness in this case said the man in orange struck Josh," asked Mr Dwyer.

"I'm telling you what I saw," he replied.

Counsel told the witness that he was wrong.

After viewing CCTV footage of the incident, the witness agreed that he was incorrect when he said that the two Deliveroo drivers were kicking anyone on the ground.

"You also said that Josh tried to stop the fight and would you agree that's not so?" asked Mr Dwyer. "I didn't see how it all started and saw Josh in the middle of it all," he replied.

The lawyer put it to the boy that there was nothing in the footage which suggested that Mr Dunne had tried to stop the fight and that instead the deceased had "rushed" towards the man in orange. The witness agreed with this.

Mr Dwyer asked the witness if he had deliberately told untruths to gardaí or was in memory faulty. He said his memory was faulty.

In re-examination, the boy agreed that he had told gardaí in his statement that the delivery cyclist dressed in orange had stabbed Mr Dunne that night.

The trial continues tomorrow before Mr Justice Paul Burns and a jury of five men and seven women.

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