Apprentice carpenter ‘stabbed to death in row over woman’

Maurice Martin knifed 14 times, inquest hears

 

An apprentice carpenter was stabbed to death in a row over a woman, an inquest has heard.

Maurice Martin’s killer stabbed him 14 times in a frenzied attack that started in the box room of the woman’s house and continued as the 21-year-old tried to escape through a housing estate in Finglas, north Dublin.

He was found dead at the junction of Cardiffsbridge Road and Tolka Valley Road in Finglas on June 12th, 2009.

The man believed to be responsible is gangland figure Daniel Gaynor, who was shot dead a year later.

Dublin Coroner’s Court heard Mr Martin, from Silverlawns in Navan, Co Meath, went back to the house with the woman, Siobhan Whitaker, having met her at a nightclub in the city centre. He had been out with friends that night celebrating the end of his exams.

Detective Inspector Colm Murphy told the court he was attacked simply because he came back to the house with her. “He was an innocent young man out celebrating the end of his carpentry course. This was totally unprovoked,” he said.

The inquest had been adjourned in August when Whitaker changed her evidence. Having initially told gardaí­ a man called “Graham” had been attacked at her door, in the stand she said Mr Martin returned to her house on Valeview Drive in Finglas. They had just gone inside when Gaynor, who was a boyfriend of one of her friends, banged on the door before chasing Mr Martin up the stairs and attacking him. Mr Martin ran out of the house and Gaynor chased after him, she told the court.

Whitaker received an 18-month prison sentence at the Circuit Criminal Court for impeding the apprehension of an individual who she knew or believed to be guilty of murder. Coroner Dr Brian Farrell adjourned so gardaí­ could interview her again. At the resumption of the inquest, Det Insp Murphy said the matters raised have been addressed.

It emerged on the final day of the inquest that gardaí ­ believe Mr Martin was attacked by two men but only one was carrying a knife.

Detective Garda Shane Curran said there was evidence he was stabbed in the box room at Whitaker’s house, with a trail of blood down the stairs and outside to where he was found. There were indications that the floor in the bedroom had been cleaned.

Witnesses saw Mr Martin staggering along the road with his face and t-shirt covered in blood before collapsing.

Local resident Matthew Martin told the inquest he was making a cup of tea in his home at around 4am when he saw Mr Martin being attacked at the wall of his house by two men, one of whom was carrying a “big, long knife”.

They were “punching and kicking”, “pulling and dragging” him for a number of minutes before running off, he said. He called gardaí ­ to raise the alarm.

He did not realise at the time that Mr Martin was lying dead on the other side of his garden wall.

Mr Martin was discovered by a taxi driver who alerted gardaí­.

The postmortem was carried out by deputy state pathologist Dr Michael Curtis, who found Mr Martin was stabbed 14 times causing fatal internal injuries.

Det Insp Murphy described the killing as “absolutely callous”.

Gardaí ­ believe there were “communications” between people in the taxi with Mr Martin and “other individuals in the Finglas area” as they were en route to the house.

The fact that Mr Martin was with the woman appeared to be the issue, he said. Asked if Gaynor was Whitaker’s boyfriend, Det Insp Murphy said it is believed there were “relationships” involved.

Dr Farrell said it was an “appalling” and “vicious” attack.

The jury returned a verdict of unlawful killing.