A 42-year-old man deliberately stabbed his former partner's boyfriend in a "sneak attack" when he invited him to a fist fight while he had concealed a knife in his pocket, a prosecution barrister has told a jury at the Central Criminal Court.
Lorcan Staines SC, prosecuting, on Friday submitted in his closing speech that the accused had also told "lie after lie" to gardai about the weapon used and that the lies were so bad they were "borderline laughable".
Counsel argued the issue of self-defence does not arise in the case as the deceased had been in "manifest retreat" when he was stabbed three times by the accused.
Nassar Ahmed of The Mews, Kilrush Road, Ennis, Co Clare has pleaded not guilty to murder but guilty to the manslaughter of Eoin Boylan (32) at Gordon Drive, Cloughleigh, Ennis, on April 14th, 2020.
Mr Ahmed offered to plead guilty to manslaughter in advance of the trial but the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) has refused to accept the plea.
Assistant State Pathologist Dr Margaret Bolster testified on Friday that she conducted a post-mortem on the remains of Mr Boylan and that the cause of death was collapse of the left lung due to penetration. She said that a "sharp object similar to a knife" was used on Mr Boylan with one sharp edge and one blunt edge.
Closing the prosecution case, Mr Staines told the court that the issue of self-defence does not arise in the case as what Mr Ahmed carried out was an "intentional, deliberate and repeated stabbing". He said that each of the three stabbings were performed when Mr Boylan was in manifest retreat.
"The only person striking is Nassar Ahmed and on each and every occasion Mr Boylan is in retreat and getting away from the situation and that is why I say that self-defence isn't in the case," he said.
Mr Staines described the actions of Mr Ahmed in the CCTV footage as actions of attack and not actions of defence.
What happened at Gordon Drive, Mr Staines said, was a sneak attack on Mr Boylan. "We know Mr Ahmed had a knife in his pocket and Mr Boylan didn't know he had a knife," he said.
Counsel said that Mr Ahmed had thought about what he did that day before doing it and that he had allowed Mr Boylan to come to a fist fight while concealing that he was armed with a knife. "On that basis it is hard to see how self-defence arises at all. There is an invitation to a fist fight concealing a knife in your pocket; how is that self-defence?" he asked.
Furthermore, Mr Staines said it was very hard to see how Mr Ahmed thought the amount of force he used on Mr Boylan was necessary in the circumstances.
He added: "Eoin Boylan is moving away and Mr Ahmed continues, Eoin Boylan raises his hand and asks him to stop and yet he continues. Eoin Boylan is in manifest retreat and he stabbed and stabbed and stabbed".
Going through the accused's interviews with gardai, Mr Staines said that the accused had told lie after lie to them about the weapon used and that the lies were so bad they were borderline laughable.
The accused told gardaí in his interviews that he couldn't remember what he used to stab Mr Boylan and couldn't remember where he threw it after walking away from the scene.
Mr Staines told the jurors that the knife can be seen in Mr Ahmed's right hand as he walked away from the scene but yet he still couldn't accept this. Counsel submitted the accused was "slightly detached from reality".
Counsel went on to tell the jury that the accused had executed the attack on Mr Boylan with skill and precision and that two of the three wounds to the deceased were very precise wounds. "One was through the back and into the diaphragm and another was into the liver causing him to die," he said.
Addressing the jury, defence counsel Mr Bowman called it an emotionally charged case and said that his client accepted that he is guilty of taking Mr Boylan's life.
He said both men had gone "head to head", pushing was taking place and that postures were aggressive.
Mr Bowman said Mr Ahmed acknowledged and conceded that his actions were morally culpable and that his error of judgment was taking a life, which he [Mr Bowman] didn't seek to justify.
He indicated that the accused man's actions were from the legitimate fear he felt at the time. "It was his subjective view which justified his use of force," he said.
Counsel argued that the evidence suggested that Mr Boylan was out looking for action and not words that day and that he [Mr Bowman] did not accept the "sneaky assault plan" put forward by the State.
Mr Ahmed, said the lawyer, accepted that he had overreacted but said his actions were in anticipation of his understanding that Mr Boylan was "coming for him". He added: "And the law understands that and accommodates that. If he [Mr Ahmed] believes he is under threat and that was his honest state of mind, the law will move it from murder to manslaughter".
Mr Bowman said that a person does not have to wait to be smacked or struck and that the law facilitates anticipation.
The reality was, he said, that Mr Boylan had gone outside against the express wishes of his partner and that he continued to go outside and refused to come inside.
Counsel asked the jury to bring in a verdict in accordance with his client's plea to manslaughter.
The trial continues on Monday before Ms Justice Eileen Creedon and a jury of seven men and five women.