A 19-year-old man has been jailed for life for the murder of two mechanics in Dublin two years ago.
David Curran (19), Lissadel Green, Drimnagh, Dublin, was found guilty at the Central Criminal Court yesterday of the murders of Pawel Kalite (28) and Marius Szwajkos (27) on February 23rd, 2008
The two men, both from Poland, died after being stabbed in the head with a screwdriver outside their home on Benbulben Road, Drimnagh. The murders occurred after a row outside a local chip shop.
Curran had pleaded not guilty to murdering the men but guilty to their manslaughter on the defence of provocation.
The jury of eight women and four men took almost six hours to reach the majority verdict following a trial that lasted just over three weeks.
There was something "profoundly sinister" in the way the two victims were murdered, Mr Justice Liam McKechnie told the court this morning. Passing two mandatory life sentences on Curran, the judge said the men had been killed with lethal accuracy.
"From an incident of almost meaningless consequence in which David Curran had no part, he ended up killing, murdering these two people," said the judge, referring to an earlier row involving Mr Kalite and three of
"There was no fight. Neither of these people threw a punch. There wasn't even a scuffle," remarked the judge.
"There's something profoundly sinister in what he did and how he did it. There were no blows to the arms, legs or torso and there wasn't even an attempt to do so," he said.
"With lethal accuracy, David Curran aimed at probably the most vulnerable part of the human body, the temple. Then by a single blow, which penetrated the skull, he caused his (Mr Kalite's) death. There was no possibility of
recovery," he said. "That blow wasn't enough. He removed the screwdriver and with the same lethal accuracy, aiming it at the same point and in the same way, he murdered Mariusz."
Mr Justice McKechnie noted the pathologist's evidence that it required great force to penetrate a person's skull to such a depth and to remove the screwdriver and repeat the process.
"It leaves a chilling and truly disturbing feeling as to what kind of person could do such a thing, brutal and savage, and one could well describe it as sadistic," he added, before describing Curran's behaviour after murdering the men.
"Within a few hours he set about scheming his way out of it. Phones had to be got rid of; alibis, concoctions abound. Then he tries to lay it off on Keogh," he noted, referring to his blaming of his co-accused, Seán Keogh. He said that from that time on, Curran had done nothing but try to strategise his way out of it.
"Without pause for thought, I unhesitantly and without any reservation, wholly agreed with the verdict of the jury in relation to David Curran," he said before jailing him for life.
The judge earlier heard victim impact statements prepared by the families of the two victims. Their former employer, Alan Kennedy, read both to the court.
In the letters to the court, both families spoke of their sense of loss and pain.
Mr Kalite's parents said his death left them with "a screwdriver in their hearts". Their son was lively, cheerful, honest, diligent and hard-working, they said.
Although enjoying his time in Ireland, his move to Dublin was supposed to be temporary. He was planning to move home and marry his girlfriend, Marcella. Hours before he was murdered, he was on the phone
making arrangements for the apartment they would share.
"All his dreams will remain unrealised, they will never have a chance to happen," they said. "A stranger has decided about his future without considering him and his dear friend Mariusz, who also found himself in the
same situation running to defend his best friend."
The family of Mr Swajkos said was not possible to find sufficient words to describe what a lovely and talented person he was. He was full of life and hopes, but his dreams were destroyed on the night of the killings. His father, who visits his grave every day, said he lost his son and best friend.
David Curran apologised to the families through his legal teams.
Seán Keogh (21), Vincent Street West, Inchicore, was found not guilty of the double murder. He had been charged on the grounds of joint enterprise. However, he was found guilty of assault causing harm to one of the men and will be sentenced later this month.