Murder trial told son stabbed father as he tried to calm him down

Gerard Fortune died after watching the All-Ireland final in his living room

David Fortune has pleaded not guilty.

David Fortune has pleaded not guilty.

 

The trial of a Dubliner charged with murdering his father has heard the deceased was stabbed to death while trying to calm down the accused.

Gerard (Gerry) Fortune was stabbed in the neck on August 19th 2018, after watching the All-Ireland final in his living room.

His son David Fortune (33) of Rutland Grove in Crumlin has gone on trial at the Central Criminal Court, charged with his murder at that address.

He has pleaded not guilty.

Seán Gillane SC opened the trial for the prosecution on Tuesday.

He told the jury that Gerry Fortune was almost 63 when he died, and was living with his partner, Eileen Lambe, and a number of others in Rutland Grove. The accused, who is his son from a previous relationship, also lived at that address.

Mr Gillane explained that it was a busy house, where the siblings’ friends were welcome. He said that there was a granny flat to the rear of the house, which was used by some family members and their friends ‘to take a drink’ and to consume drugs, including cocaine.

The 19th of August was All-Ireland Sunday and Gerry Fortune watched the match at home. However, the accused and a number of other people attended ‘a day of drinking and drug taking’ in the granny flat, said counsel.

He said that some of those present described the accused as behaving in a paranoid way that day, staring and grinding his teeth. He could be heard saying: ‘Cold f***ing sh*te bags’ and ‘I’ll stab you’.

A row ensued between the accused and Gerard Lambe. David Fortune and a number of others went into the house.

“Gerry Fortune attempted to calm him down,” said Mr Gillane about the accused. David Fortune was heard to ask his father: “Is that the way it is, Da? Is this how I’m going to die?”

He was described as anxious, agitated and uptight. Laura Lambe, who will give evidence, said that he went pale and had a knife.

Ms Lambe stood between her father and the accused, who she saw swing at his father with the knife, the court head. Gerry Fortune fell, there was blood everywhere and an injury was evident to his neck.

Mr Gillane said that there was ‘utter pandemonium’ in the house, which the accused had left through a window.

The injured Mr Fortune was taken by ambulance to hospital but died a short time later as a result of haemorrhage and shock due to the stab wound to his neck.

The prosecutor said that, moments after the stabbing, a car was hijacked from a woman on Rutland Grove. The accused has already pleaded guilty to unlawful seizure of a vehicle there by using physical force to drag the driver, Geraldine Brady, from the driver’s seat.

Mr Gillane said that the car was driven by the accused to Blanchardstown Hospital, where it was captured on CCTV.

“You’ll see him run into and around the hospital, and you’ll hear about his encounters with staff,” said counsel. “He said his father had tried to kill him.” David Fortune was later arrested.

Mr Gillane informed the jury that intoxication may well be a legal feature of the case.

“Intoxication can be relevant where the prosecution has to prove a specific intent,” he explained. “It can operate to reduce criminal liability.”

The trial, which is due to last three weeks, will continue tomorrow before Ms Justice Eileen Creedon and a jury of eight women and four men.