Murder trial told man died after row over 70 cent charge


An internet cafe owner has gone on trial charged with murdering a customer in a row over 70 cent.

Zhen Dong Zhao (36), a Chinese man with an address at Jervis Street in Dublin, has pleaded not guilty to murdering Noel Fegan (40) on May 20th, 2011.

Mr Fegan, originally from Finglas, Dublin, had been living on Aughrim Street in the city. His friend John Wynne yesterday told the Central Criminal Court the deceased had received a “call me” text from his daughter.

Mr Fegan had no credit and there was no reply when he tried to call his daughter from someone else’s phone, so Mr Wynne and Mr Fegan decided to try an internet cafe. They went to e-Times, run by the accused, and Mr Fegan went into a booth to phone his daughter.

“Noel came out of the box and I heard him telling the guy: ‘All I could get was the answering machine.’ The accused turned his screen around and it showed 70 cent,” Mr Wynne said. “Noel took two 20 cents out of his pocket and said that’s all he had. The accused reached out and gave Noel an open-hand slap and Noel reacted and gave one back.

“I saw the accused kicking him straight in the head. I didn’t see any body kicks.

“I was roaring at him to stop. I put my arm out between them and said, ‘He has enough’.”

Pauline Walley SC, prosecuting, said the accused told gardaí he had had trouble with customers not paying in the past and wanted to teach them a lesson.

She said he had told gardaí: “This man died and my life is ruined and both families have suffered as a result.”

She said: “One can be remorseful but that doesn’t mean it’s not murder.”

The trial continues before Mr Justice Patrick McCarthy and a jury of eight men and four women.