Karol Kelly murder trial: co-accused ‘couldn’t believe’ victim was dead

One of the men charged with the murder of Karol Kelly in Derry in 2018 has said he could not believe it when he was told the father of five had died.
The late Karol Kelly.The late Karol Kelly.
The late Karol Kelly.

Brothers Gary Anderson (25) and Sean Anderson (23), both of Grafton Street, and Michael Dunlop (21), of Fern Park in Derry, all deny the murder of Mr Kelly 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.

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At the opening of the defence case at Derry Crown Court, sitting in Coleraine, on Wednesday, the defendant Sean Anderson took to the witness stand to give his account of events on the night in question.

He told the court he had been drinking in his own house with a few friends when two men burst in to the property.

The defendant said: ‘I thought it was a joke. Then I got punched in the face.’

He told the jury of eight men and four women that, as he was being attacked, his older brother was also being assaulted.

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The court heard that, as a result of the attack, Sean Anderson was left ‘dizzy, in shock and panic.’

He said he then went to the kitchen, grabbed a knife and went out onto the street ‘to scare them away.’

Anderson said that, after the attack, he ‘lost it’.

When asked by his counsel, Brian McCartney QC, did he remember going to the kitchen, Sean Anderson answered: ‘Vaguely’.

Mr Anderson said that, when he came out to the street, Mr Kelly charged at him.

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He told the jury that Mr Kelly ‘got me and pulled me down by the back of the neck’ and there was ‘a wee bit of scuffling and he fell to the floor.’

Sean Anderson said he realised Mr Kelly may have been ‘hit with the knife’ and he dropped it.

When asked how he felt when all this was going on, the witness said: ‘Shock. I couldn’t believe what had just happened.’

The defendant said that, as he was being taken out of the house later, someone told him Karol Kelly was dead and that he ‘couldn’t believe it.’

The trial continues.