Jury in Kilkee murder trial to resume deliberations on Wednesday
Robbie Walsh has pleaded not guilty to murder of Karl Haugh (25) in August 2017
Ms Justice Carmel Stewart has told the jurors they can convict or acquit Robbie Walsh (23) of Karl Haugh’s murder, or return a verdict of manslaughter.
The jury in the murder trial of a Co Clare man who admitted stabbing an acquaintance in the back during a row has been sent home for the night, and will continue deliberating on Wednesday.
Ms Justice Carmel Stewart has told the jurors they can convict or acquit Robbie Walsh (23) of Karl Haugh’s murder, or return an alternative verdict of manslaughter. She said it was the defence’s case that Mr Walsh did not intend to cause serious harm and that he was acting in self defence at the time.
She warned the jurors they must not approach deliberations with emotive or prejudicial feelings. She also advised them to look at the incident from Mr Walsh’s point of view to see if he thought he had been under threat or attack and if he thought the force used was justified.
Mr Walsh (23), of Island View, Kilrush, Co Clare, has pleaded not guilty at the Central Criminal Court to murdering Karl ‘Gobbo’ Haugh (25) at Marian Estate, Kilkee, in the early hours of August 6th, 2017.
Ms Justice Stewart said that in assessing the amount of force used, the jury needed to bear in mind that a person under attack may react in the spur of the moment.
‘Over the top’
She said this person cannot be expected to know know much force is needed to defend themselves, but that “over the top” force would not be reasonable.
Reading from legal guidelines on self defence, she told the jury that some allowance must be made for the state of excitement or fear of the person under attack.
Ms Justice Stewart told the jury that if the intention was self-defence but more force than reasonable was applied, then the killing would be unlawful.
During the trial, the jury viewed excerpts of the accused’s garda interviews. During one excerpt, Mr Walsh admitted: “I killed a man. It’s not an easy thing to have on your shoulders. I only went out for a few cans and ended up killing someone.”
The jury also heard that Mr Walsh and his cousins, Mitchell and Clinton Walsh, had gone to the Marian Estate to smash up Mr Haugh’s car in response to an earlier altercation that night. This earlier altercation had involved Clinton Walsh and Mr Haugh.
During interview, Robbie Walsh told gardaí he used a metal bar to smash windows of a car he and his cousins believed belonged to Mr Haugh. He said his group were running away after this, when he saw “Karl and a right few” others with golf clubs and bars.
Robbie Walsh said that Mr Haugh dropped a knife he had been holding during the ensuing fight, which the accused then picked up. He said he kept the knife as Mr Haugh grabbed him and started dragging him around “like a rag doll”.
Robbie Walsh told gardaí that he then swung his right arm and stabbed Mr Haugh in the back. He said he saw Mr Haugh drop to his knees, but then get back up again.
The court heard Mr Haugh died of a single stab wound, which punctured his lung and caused massive bleeding.