The intricate tapestry of evidence presented to the court over the past four weeks examining the killing of Cork chef Timmy Hourihane is being laid out to the jury for the final time.
Justice Deirdre Murphy began her charge to the jury of seven women and five men at the Central Criminal Court in Waterford today, and will continue it tomorrow.
The court heard about witnesses who had tried to help Mr Hourihane as he lay severely beaten and gurgling on his own blood by a footpath off Mardyke Walk on October 13, 2019, after midnight.
They heard that he lay there, his head in a pool of blood, as a tent burned nearby, occasionally exploding and throwing shadows across the crime scene until a woman visiting from Germany, Nicole Srock Stanley, and then firefighters extinguished the flames.
Four people — Cian Duggan, Kieran Stanley, Nicole Srock Stanley, and Caitriona Donegan — stopped to try to help a stranger that night, putting their own safety at risk for the good of another.
Mr Stanley and Mr Duggan tried to save Mr Hourihane, putting him in recovery position, wrapping his bloodied head in their own jacket and calling Emergency Services.
Paramedics then tried to save Mr Hourihane, providing life support until he got to Cork University Hospital’s resuscitation room by ambulance, although he had no pulse.
The court also heard how the atmosphere in the campsite — established off Mardyke Walk by people who were homeless back in 2019 — had grown increasingly tense in the days and hours before the killing.
In the final hours before Mr Hourihane’s violent death, the women Mr Hourihane was camping with — Kellie Lynch and Ivana Bozic — had become so fearful that they tried to leave the camp with Mr Hourihane.
But they had too much to carry and nowhere to go, so they returned a short time later.
They were frightened by comments of ‘burn baby burn’ made by a man which they believed were directed at them.
They had been told to leave the tent that day. Ms Lynch said they were frightened.
They also heard how two people who volunteer to help the homeless, Mary O’Neill and Liam O’Connor, dropped the accused James Brady back to the camp that night because he was injured and they were concerned that he may not be able to make it back unaided.
Justice Murphy explained to the jury that the State must prove the case beyond reasonable doubt — a high standard but not an impossible standard.
“You must be satisfied and sure that your verdict is the correct verdict,” she said.
She reminded them that there is always a presumption of the defendant’s innocence and only after analysing and weighing evidence can a jury arrive at a verdict to convict.
“Crime is an offence against society as a whole, not just the victim of that crime,” said Justice Murphy.
“So every case in this court is brought in the name of the people of Ireland.
“You, the jury, are the representatives of the people of Ireland.
“When dealing with the evidence, it is required to be dispassionate.”
She said that it was accepted by the defence that Mr Hourihane had “suffered an appalling assault”, which he died from.
She warned them to put their emotions aside and bring their faculties and their life experiences to bear on the evidence.
She said that the jury had “a huge amount of evidence” to weigh up and analyse before they came to a verdict.
That included bloodstained clothing and shoes, hours of alleged witness accounts, photos, maps, video recordings of interviews, and 999 calls.
“It’s there for you, you have to consider it, weigh it, see what to accept,” she said.