Two accused of murdering father-of-two 'acted together'

Two Accused Of Murdering Father-Of-Two 'Acted Together'
Philip Disney (27) and Sean Carlyle (30) deny murdering Vincent Parsons (above) at Killinarden Way, near the Killinarden Inn in Tallaght on August 26th, 2019.
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Paul Neilan

Two men accused of the murder of a father-of-two by beating him to death in Dublin in 2019 "acted together each and every step of the way in common design" before and after the killing, the Central Criminal Court has been told.

The court is hearing the case of Philip Disney (27) and Sean Carlyle (30), who deny murdering Vincent Parsons (34) at Killinarden Way, near the Killinarden Inn in Tallaght on August 26th, 2019.


Mr Parsons died from a lack of oxygen to his brain after numerous blunt-force trauma injuries to his head and face caused significant internal bleeding and a heart attack, the court has heard.


Lorcan Staines SC, prosecuting, has said it is the State's case that the deceased had been drinking for several hours at a friend's stag do when he became "messy", started hugging people and began to irritate others in the Killinarden Inn before coming to the attention of accused man Mr Disney.

It is alleged there were then words between them and Mr Disney became irritated and agitated and could be seen on CCTV, played for the jury, raising his arm and pointing at Mr Parsons before saying something to him. Mr Parsons then left the bar and when outside began to run, counsel said.

Mr Staines said it is alleged that the two accused men left the pub within minutes, got into a black van and then got out at a green area in Killinarden where they beat Mr Parsons to death. Forty-eight seconds after stopping at the green area, they got back into the van and drove to Mr Carlyle's home, counsel said.


Mr Staines said the State's case is that Mr Carlyle changed his clothes, and the pair then left the van "off site" at a nearby housing estate and got a lift back to the pub where he said they could be seen returning on CCTV about 30-to-35 minutes after they had left.

Mr Carlyle, with an address at Donomore Avenue, Tallaght, and Mr Disney of Donomore Crescent, Tallaght, have pleaded not guilty to the murder of Mr Parsons.

In his closing speech on Wednesday, Mr Staines told the jury that after the interaction with Mr Disney in the pub, it caused Mr Parsons "to run as if his life depended on it". He said Mr Disney behaved in a threatening manner towards Mr Parsons which could be seen on CCTV and that the deceased left without his brother, cousins or friends who were all present in the pub.

Counsel said that inference and circumstantial evidence were not enough on their own to convict someone of a crime but if all the evidence was accumulated it would create the "links in a chain required to prove the principal facts to be established".


Mr Staines said both co-accused men acted "each and every step of the way in common design" with intent to cause serious harm or kill Mr Parsons.

CCTV footage

He said the two men could be seen on CCTV getting out of the van at the scene of Mr Parson's death and return to it 48 seconds later.

Mr Staines said it had been accepted and unchallenged by the defence teams that it was the two accused men captured on CCTV in the pub and in the van, where Mr Parson's uniquely inscribed watch was later found.

Counsel said the two men returned to the pub after visiting Mr Carlyle's house to create an alibi that they had not left the pub all night.


Dominic McGinn SC, for Mr Carlyle, said there was a "hole in the middle" of the prosecution's case in that the jury could not be satisfied beyond a reasonable doubt what exactly happened on the night as it was not captured on CCTV nor seen by eyewitnesses.

Mr McGinn said a drop of Mr Parsons' blood found on Mr Carlyle's shorts could not have been from the night in question as Mr Carlyle did not change his shorts on the night and could be seen on CCTV wearing a different pair in the pub.

Dr Sibéal Waldron, of Forensic Science Ireland, has given evidence to the trial that a pair of shorts belonging to Mr Carlyle that were seized during a search had a drop of blood on them which she analysed.

DNA profile

Dr Waldron said this drop of blood generated a DNA profile of a male that matched Mr Parson's DNA. She said the odds on the DNA profile from the blood matching anyone else's was "one-thousand million to one".


Counsel said his client had told gardaí that his own blood which was found on a sock, a runner and a towel in Mr Carlyle's home, came from a cut to his hand sustained from boxing on another date.

Mr McGinn said this explanation from his client was consistent with Mr Carlyle appearing on CCTV from the pub on the night apparently without any cut to either hand.

Mr McGinn said that if Mr Carlyle was supposed to be "covered in blood" then there would have been forensic evidence found in the van to corroborate this. Counsel said there was no evidence from the van against his client and that it had not been cleaned in the aftermath of Mr Parson's death because the deceased's watch was found in the passenger door.

Mr McGinn told the jury that if there was another reasonable scenario possible for what happened on the night then that created reasonable doubt.

Bernard Condon SC, for Mr Disney, told the jury that all he could ask of them was to approach the case with an "open mind".

'Missing ingredient'

Counsel said there was a "key missing ingredient" from the prosecution's case regarding the CCTV from the pub not having sound.

Counsel said that the prosecution had failed to show that there had been any threat made towards Mr Parsons by his client when the two were seen interacting on CCTV.

Mr Condon said the State had failed to show that any agreement existed between Mr Disney and Mr Carlyle to cause serious injury or kill Mr Parsons before his death.

Mr Condon said there were three-to-four minutes from the time Mr Parsons left the pub and the two accused leaving the pub car park in the van, which was, he said, "inconsistent" with any targeting of Mr Parsons.

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Counsel said it was "extraordinary" that the two men returned to the pub in the hope that it would create an impression that they never left due to the amount of people present inside the pub, in the car park and the presence of CCTV.

Mr Condon said his client did not change his clothes on the night and that this was inconsistent with someone who was just exposed to a large amount of blood.

He said there was no forensic evidence against his client and that no-one could say who put the watch belonging to Mr Parsons into the passenger side of the van, which was later moved by a third male. He added there were no incriminating texts or calls against his client before the jury.

On Thursday, Mr Justice Kerida Naidoo will give his charge to the jury who will then begin their deliberations.

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