Old Bailey told Meath man had threatened person who killed him

Darryn Madigan has denied murdering John Martin in London last August

John Martin, from Donore, Co Meath, was stabbed  in north west London last year.

John Martin, from Donore, Co Meath, was stabbed in north west London last year.

 

An Irishman who was stabbed to death in London threatened the man who killed him just before a violent clash between the pair, a court has heard.

Darryn Madigan (38) of Doreen Avenue, Kingsbury in north west London has denied he murdered John Martin (45) on August 7th last year, but has pleaded guilty to manslaughter. During the third day of his murder trial in the Old Bailey, neighbours described how Martin had shouted at Madigan from his front garden, saying he would attack him.

Martin, who was originally from Donore in Co Meath and was a next-door neighbour of the accused, was stabbed in the heart in the early hours of the morning after he returned home from a night out with his girlfriend.

The court heard Martin had shouted “come down, come down, I’ll beat you around Kingsbury” before the pair fought outside, resulting in Martin’s death.

The jury has heard that Martin had been out in pubs in Wembley with friends for the evening and returned to Doreen Avenue at 2.50am in a taxi, having had a lot to drink. He went into Madigan’s front garden – the two lived beside each other – and started to shout abuse at the top window.

In response, Madigan is said to have taken a chef’s knife from the kitchen and rushed out to confront Martin.

Martin had died at the scene before the emergency services arrived.

James Cahill, Martin’s flat mate, had been in their home when Martin returned from the pub and said the accused and the victim had been exchanging words outside – Madigan from his top window – while Martin’s girlfriend had tried to calm the situation. After the fight, Cahill went outside to find Martin on the ground with blood on his front.

A neighbour, Ann Fitzgerald, was awoken by the sound of a man with an Irish accent in the front garden of a neighbouring house shouting abuse and threatening: “I’ll have you.”

Another man, she said, appeared topless at the front door before they faced off and there was an audible “thwack”. She went outside and saw Martin on the ground on his back with the knife beside him.

Madigan was arrested at the scene shortly after 3am. The court has heard that he had blood on his face, hands, head, arms and feet.

Pathologist Dr Robert Chapman, who examined Martin’s body, said he had died as a result of a stab wound to the left side of the chest. His lung, then his heart had been affected, resulting in blood loss. Toxicology results showed that Martin was significantly intoxicated at the time of his death.

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

Madigan’s defence is that he was scared of Martin and claims that he did not mean to stab him. The prosecution say that since he pleaded guilty to manslaughter, he accepts it was not an accident and that he intended to stab Martin.