Brannock cleared of man’s murder, found guilty of his manslaughter

David Brannock guilty of killing a father of three and injuring two of his children

David Brannock has pleaded not guilty to all five offences. Photograph: Court Collins.

David Brannock has pleaded not guilty to all five offences. Photograph: Court Collins.

 

A 23-year-old Dubliner has been found guilty of killing a father of three and injuring two of his children as well as their uncle following his daughter’s Junior Cert result celebrations.

He was cleared of the man’s murder and found guilty of his manslaughter.

David Brannock of St Joseph’s Way, Ballymun, was charged with murdering Jason Flannery, causing serious harm to his brother in law, John O’Neill, and assault causing harm to Mr Flannery’s daughter, Jade Byrne; son, Anthony Byrne, and their mother, Claire Byrne.

Mr Brannock had pleaded not guilty to all five offences in the early hours of September 13th, 2012, at St Joseph’s Way, Poppintree, Ballymun.

The Central Criminal Court trial heard that Jade Byrne got into an argument with Brannock during her Junior Cert result celebrations hours earlier.

The argument escalated and other family members became involved.

Brannock was eventually asked to leave the Byrne-Flannery home in Cairn Court, a short walk from his own home. Mr O’Neill said that the accused shouted: “I’ll be back and yous are all going to get it”.

The family heard banging on a front window about 20 minutes later and the men went outside, where they saw the accused running away. John O’Neill testified that the accused was shouting: “Come on out”.

The father and son took a crutch each and chased him towards St Joseph’s Way, where Brannock stabbed them both.

Claire Byrne said that she had shouted at them: “You are walking into a trap”.

Mr O’Neill said that he followed them, but Brannock struck him too.

Jade Byrne said she also followed and found her father lying on the ground. She said she approached the accused and that he slashed her down her back.

Mr Flannery died at the scene from a stab wound. Two stab wounds to his stomach would have contributed to his death.

John O’Neill received serious stab wounds to his throat and body.

Jade and Anthony Byrne received stitches for their wounds.

The handle of an ornamental knife found outside Mr Flannery’s house fit with a blood-stained blade found in Brannock’s next-door neighbour’s garden. These then fit into a knife box found in his bedroom.

Brannock admitted causing all the knife wounds but his lawyers asked the jury to acquit him by reason of self defence.

However, the State said that Brannock had returned to the Byrne-Flannery home after being thrown out in order to lure its occupants outside and assault them.

Mr Justice Carroll Moran told the jury that there were three possible verdicts on the murder charge: guilty, not guilty of murder but guilty of manslaughter, or an outright acquittal.

The five women and seven men began considering their verdict on Tuesday and had deliberated for seven and a half hours when they reached a unanimous verdict on three counts.

They found Brannock guilty of the offences against John O’Neill, Anthony Byrne and Jade Byrne.

They were then given the option of reaching a majority verdict on the final two counts, and deliberated for another hour before reaching agreement.

They found Brannock not guilty of murder, but guilty of Mr Flannery’s manslaughter by majority verdict of 10 to two. They cleared him of assault causing harm to Claire Byrne.

Brannock will be sentenced on December 2nd.