Neighbour admits manslaughter of Irish man in London

Meath man died after being stabbed in heart in front of his home

Darryn Madigan pleaded guilty to the manslaughter of John Martin on the opening day of his trial in the Central Criminal Court in the Old Bailey in London. Photograph: Stephen Hird/Reuters

Darryn Madigan pleaded guilty to the manslaughter of John Martin on the opening day of his trial in the Central Criminal Court in the Old Bailey in London. Photograph: Stephen Hird/Reuters

 

A neighbour of an Irishman who was stabbed to death in northwest London after an early morning argument has pleaded guilty to manslaughter but denies his murder. Darryn Madigan (38), Doreen Avenue, Kingsbury, has denied he murdered John Martin (45) on August 7th last year. Mr Martin, who was originally from Donore, Co Meath, died after being stabbed in the heart in front of his home after returning from a night out with his girlfriend.

Madigan entered a guilty plea to manslaughter on the opening day of his trial on Monday in the Central Criminal Court in the Old Bailey in London. In his opening statement, Oliver Glasgow QC, prosecuting, said Martin was unarmed and wearing just a T-shirt when he was stabbed after a row with his neighbour. He “never stood a chance”, Mr Glasgow said.

The jury was told that Mr Martin had been out at pubs in Wembley with friends and returned to Doreen Avenue at 2.50am in a taxi, having had a lot to drink. He went into Madigan’s front garden and started to shout abuse at the top window, the jury was told. In response, Madigan is said to have taken a chef’s knife from the kitchen and rushed out to confront Martin, the jury heard.

“On opening the front door, he ran at John Martin. A scuffle ensued, during which both men fell to the ground. At some stage during that scuffle, the defendant used the knife he had in his hand to stab John Martin twice to the left side of his chest,” Mr Glasgow told the jury. The injuries were “catastrophic” and Mr Martin was dead by the time the emergency services arrived. Madigan, who had blood over his upper body, was arrested at the scene, the court heard.

When interviewed initially by police, Madigan said he had fallen down the stairs on to Martin and was defending himself, the jury was told. He later said he had stabbed Martin by accident when the two had been struggling, the court heard.

“The defendant pleaded guilty to manslaughter. This means that he now accepts that what happened was not an accident, he now accepts that he intended to stab John Martin and the only issue that arises is whether or not he intended to cause him really serious harm,” Mr Glasgow said.

The case continues.