One of seven Dubliners charged with the murder of Dale Creighton identified himself with a knife in CCTV footage of the fatal assault following his arrest, their trial has heard.
However, James Reid denied involvement and described as horrific the assault on 20-year-old Mr Creighton on new year's morning 2014.
The incident took place around 4am at the footbridge over the Tallaght bypass between Saint Dominic's Road and Greenhills Road. Mr Creighton died in hospital on January 2nd 2014.
A woman and six men, who are in their 20s and from Tallaght, have all pleaded not guilty to murder and went on trial at the Central Criminal Court on Tuesday.
They are 23-year-old Aisling Burke and 28-year-old David Burke, both with a current address at Beechpark, Collinstown, Co Westmeath; Graham Palmer (26) with a current address at Park Avenue, Portarlington, Co Laois; Ross Callery (23) currently of Gortlum Cottages, Brittas, Co Dublin; James Reid (26) currently of Glen Aoibhinn, Gorey, Co Wexford; Jason Beresford (23) with an address at Coill Diarmuida, Ard a' Laoi, Castledermot, Co Kildare; and Gerard Stevens (27) currently of Grosvenor Square, Rathmines in Dublin.
Each accused also initially pleaded not guilty to violent disorder at the footbridge that New Year’s Day. However Jason Beresford changed his plea on Wednesday and pleaded guilty to the violent disorder charge.
Garda Brian O’Connor testified that he arrested Mr Reid at an address in Tallaght on the morning of January 2nd. He and colleagues interviewed him three times at Tallaght Garda station.
Mr Reid said he was aware of the incident on the bridge because he had seen it on the news.
He said he did not know Mr Creighton, but had heard something about a girl’s phone being stolen that morning.
It was put to him that Mr Creighton was dead as a result of his and his friends’ actions.
“It wasn’t me,” he replied.
He was asked which part he had taken in the assault and he replied that he hadn’t assaulted him.
“I had no part in it,” he said.
It was put to him that, as far as the garda could make out from the CCTV, Mr Creighton was kicked, punched and thrown down a set of concrete stairs.
He was then shown footage of the incident on the bridge and asked if he had anything to say.
“It’s horrific,” he responded.
He agreed that he was on the video and identified himself, but repeated that he hadn’t assaulted the deceased.
The footage had already been played to the jury, but was replayed so Garda O’Connor could point out the figure Mr Reid had identified as himself.
“What are you holding in your hand?” he was asked in interview.
“The knife that I took off him when he swung it at me,” he replied. “I jumped back and took it off him.”
He agreed that he then walked out of shot with the knife and said he went home.
“I didn’t want nothing to do with it,” he said.
His barrister, Ciaran O'Loughlin SC, has now begun cross examining the witness and will continue his cross examination on Friday afternoon before Ms Justice Deirdre Murphy and a jury of six men and six women.