Jury fails to reach verdict over killing of Irish man in Australia

Vincent Martin Crowe (34) admitted stabbing Kenny Meyler (21) from Wexford at party in Perth

The late Kenny Meyler, from Co Wexford, who was killed by Vincent Martin Crowe at an apartment in Perth last year.

The late Kenny Meyler, from Co Wexford, who was killed by Vincent Martin Crowe at an apartment in Perth last year.

 

The jury in the trial of an Irish man accused of murdering a fellow Irish man in Australia has been unable to reach a verdict.

Vincent Martin Crowe (34) admitted killing Wexford man Kenny Meyler (21) at an apartment in the Perth suburb of Scarborough in February last year.

Mr Crowe had pleaded guilty to manslaughter, but this was rejected by the state prosecutors, who pursued a murder charge.

He allegedly killed Mr Meyler by stabbing him in the neck during an alcohol and drug-fuelled party on the afternoon of February 10th, 2013.

Mr Crowe was originally charged with grievous bodily harm with intent, but the charge was upgraded to murder when Mr Meyler died a week after the incident, at the Sir Charles Gairdner hospital.

During the two-week trial, the Western Australia Supreme Court heard that Mr Crowe began the night of February 9th drinking in bars, then went on to a nightclub.

In the nightclub he took ecstasy, drank more alcohol and met Mr Meyler through a mutual friend, the jury heard.

At about 4am Mr Crowe allegedly took a drug called mephedrone in an apartment where a party was going on.

After Mr Crowe and others slept for a period, the party continued into the afternoon of February 10th. At about 1pm, there was a verbal dispute between Mr Crowe’s friend David Murphy and Mr Meyler, but they shook hands shortly after.

A witness from the party, Michael Lonergan, testified that things had then been calm. “Everyone seemed fined, everyone was chatting,” he said.

Prosecutor David Davidson told the court that at around 2.30pm, Mr Crowe took a knife, “walked to where Kenny was sitting and thrust it with force into the right side of Kenny’s neck”.

Mr Crowe’s defence barrister, Judith Fordham, said her client accepted his actions caused the death of Mr Meyler but that “he does not remember what he did”.

She said Mr Crowe was “filled with remorse”, and had struggled with alcoholism and drug abuse.

The jury deliberated from yesterday afternoon until this afternoon, when they informed Justice Lindy Jenkins they could not reach a verdict.

The possibility of a retrial will be discussed at a status conference scheduled for November 13th.

Mr Meyler’s parents travelled to Australia for the proceedings and are receiving assistance from the Claddagh Association, an Irish welfare group in Perth.