“Like A Scene From A Movie”
A witness told a murder trial in Dublin last week that the accused stamped on his alleged victim’s head, saying: ‘This is out of American History X’.
Gavin Walsh (21) was giving evidence on Tuesday last in the trial of a 20-year-old Waterford man charged with murdering a 22-year-old in the city almost three years ago.
The trial has heard that Martin Brophy died of blunt force trauma to the head, which could have been due to kicking, stamping or stomping.
William Moran of Connolly Place, Waterford is charged with murdering Mr Brophy at the old Waterford Institute of Technology (WIT) building on New Street/John’s Lane between May 19th and May 21st 2012.
Mr Moran has pleaded not guilty to the charge and is on trial at the Central Criminal Court in Dublin.
Mr Walsh testified that he and William Moran went to what he described as ‘the warehouse’ with two females on Saturday May 19th, 2012.
“There was a trolley hanging from the ceiling and a metal step that your man (Mr Brophy) was sleeping on,” he said, explaining that this grey step was like a bench.
“I didn’t know him, but I was in the warehouse before and he was there,” he said of the deceased. “William was calling him Skip.”
He continued: “William Moran ended up waking him. He started banging his foot off the metal yoke. He woke up in a bit of a fright, kind of jumped up and told William to go away.”
He said that one of the females ‘calmed the two boys down’ and that they all sat down and drank cider for at least an hour. The girls eventually went home.
He said that Mr Brophy later said that Mr Moran’s cousin, Ray Connolly, had threatened his (Mr Brophy’s) sister with a knife. He said that Mr Moran denied this, but that Mr Brophy told him to get his cousin on the phone and tell him to ‘come down here’.
He said that Mr Moran did ring his cousin and put him on loudspeaker.
“Skip (the deceased) shouted into the phone that he’d slice Ray’s throat if he came down,” he said.
Mr Walsh said that the conversation between the accused and his cousin continued after he took him off loudspeaker and that Mr Moran then told the witness what he had said to his cousin.
“He said if me and William give Skip a beating, will you sort us out with a few ‘Es’, drugs,” he testified. “I said: ‘No, he’s too drunk’. William said: ‘I’ll do it myself’.”
Mr Walsh said that, as he was about to leave, Mr Moran went behind Mr Brophy and dragged him.
“He started kicking him severely in the head and digging him in the head,” he said, explaining that this had happened six or seven times.
He was asked if Mr Brophy had reacted. “No, he was too drunk,” he replied.
Mr Walsh said that he told Mr Moran to stop and tried to grab him by the shoulder, but that the accused had pushed him away.
“He dragged him up to the metal thing and put his teeth on it,” he continued.
“He said: ‘This is out of American History X’, a film, and then stamped on his head with his Timberland boot,” he said.
“I said: ‘You’re going to kill your man’ and started crying,” he said.
The witness stated that he pushed Mr Moran, who fell over beside a brick.
“William got back up and lifted up the brick,” he said. “I asked: ‘What are you doing with that?’ He said: ‘I’m a mad bastard’ and hit Skip’s head with it.”
He was asked to describe this in more detail. “He lifted the brick and then dropped it down on his head,” he said, gesturing in the witness box.
“Blood spattered up. I started bawling crying and said: ‘Fu*k this. I’m out of here’,” he said.
Mr Walsh stated that while he was running out of the warehouse, he again saw the accused dropping the brick on Mr Brophy’s head.
Mr Walsh said that he was planning on going to the Gardaí when Mr Moran caught up with him.
“He kind of dragged my coat from behind me,” he said. “He put blood on the back of my jacket… he had blood on his hands.”
He said that Mr Moran told him that everything was going to be ok and that ‘he hit Skip three more times with the brick’.
He said that Mr Moran told him not to run or he would make it obvious. “He rang Ray Connolly again and started laughing on the phone, saying: ‘Job done’,” he said.
He said they then went to Mr Moran’s house and that the accused had gone inside and got a lighter.
“He took off his jacket. He told me to take off my jacket,” he said. “He went across the road and burned the two jackets.”
He said that Mr Moran later warned him not to go to the (Garda) Station.
Mr Walsh is now being cross examined by the defence. The trial continues before Mr Justice Patrick McCarthy and a jury of four women and eight men and is expected to run for three weeks in full.
For full story see The Munster Express newspaper or
subscribe to our Electronic edition.
subscribe to our Electronic edition.