Derry murder trial: accused said he swung out with knife after ‘charge’

One of the men charged with the murder of a Derry father of five in 2018 told police the deceased ‘made a charge” at him before he swung a knife.

Karol Kelly.
Karol Kelly.

The PSNI interviews with Sean Anderson were read out to the jury during Monday’s trial hearing at Derry Crown Court.

Brothers Gary Anderson (25) and Sean Anderson (23), both of Grafton Street, and Michael Dunlop (21), of Fern Park in Derry, are all charged with the murder of Karol Kelly in Derry on March 4, 2018.

Dunlop is further charged with attempting to cause grievous bodily harm with intent on Mr Kelly and doing an act with intent to pervert the course of justice on the same date by attempting to conceal knives.

A police officer gave evidence today of carrying out a series of interviews with Sean Anderson on March 4, 5 and 6, 2018. The court heard that the first interview began at 5.49pm on March 4 and, initially, Sean Anderson said: ‘I didn’t mean to harm anyone that night.’

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During the interview, the defendant said he had been sitting drinking with friends when two men came to the door of his house at Grafton Street. One of them, said the defendant, had his face covered.

Sean Anderson told police he, initially, thought it was one of his friends ‘taking a hand at me.’

He told police that the first man approached him and began hitting him and a second man then came in and ‘went straight to my brother’ and began striking him.

Sean Anderson told the interviewers he ran to the kitchen and grabbed the first thing he could see on the counter, which was a knife.

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The court heard that the defendant told police he wanted ‘to scare’ the men.

The defendant told the police interview that the two men who had entered the house then made their way up the street. Sean Anderson said he ran out and one of the men said, ‘he has a knife’, and ran off.

Anderson said he wanted to get ‘the man out of the street’ but the man ran towards him and he slashed at him with the knife and the man fell.

Earlier yesterday, a witness who had previously given evidence was recalled to answer questions about body worn footage of an interview he gave to police immediately after the stabbing incident.

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The witness, Peter McCourt, had previously given evidence to the trial about going to the assistance of Mr Kelly.

Yesterday, he was recalled and the jury was shown the body worn footage taken by a police officer talking with Mr McCourt at 3.07am on the morning of the killing.

In the body worn footage, the witness said he saw ‘the guy leave with a knife in hand’.

He told police he did not know the man he saw with the knife.

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Cross-examined by Michael Duffy QC, for Michael Dunlop, the witness was asked about the knife he saw and he had said it was ‘red or orange’.

Mr Duffy told him two knives had been recovered - one red and one orange - and was asked could he say which one he saw.

The witness said he only had a very brief glimpse of the man with the knife and could not ‘be 100% certain’ as to the colour.

Asked if the knife was ‘covered in blood’, the witness replied: ‘I can’t remember’.

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The trial continues.