Murder co-accused ‘an innocent kid’, trial told

The barrister for one of the men charged with the murder of Karol Kelly in Derry in 2018 has told the jury that the evidence against his client was ‘conflicting’.

The late Karol Kelly.
The late Karol Kelly.

Michael Duffy QC, for the accused Michael Dunlop, was making his closing submission to the jury of eight men and four women at the trial.

Brothers Gary Anderson (25) and Sean Anderson (23), of Grafton Street, and Dunlop (21), of Fern Park in Derry, all deny murdering the father of five on March 4, 2018.

Dunlop is also 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.

On Tuesday, Mr Duffy told the jury that the events of that night would have been the “most important” ever to impact on his client’s “young life”.

He said Dunlop had gone to the Andersons’ house for ‘a few quiet laughs with his friends.’

The barrister told the jury they should not allow the fact that a man had died to cloud their judgment.

Mr Duffy said that, in order to be sure of what had happened, the jury must be sure evidence given by eyewitnesses was ‘consistent, reliable and accurate.’

He said his client did not have to co-operate with the investigation, did not have to talk to police and did not have to give evidence to the trial - but he did so.

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The barrister described his client as ‘an innocent kid’.

He said that, while one witness alleged seeing Dunlop bang the head of the deceased off a van, it was not sufficient for the jury to think ‘he might have done it or he could have done it’. They had, he said, to be satisfied beyond a reasonable doubt that he had done it.

Mr Duffy said that even the prosecution accepted the account given by Dunlop was mainly truthful.

The QC cited one witness who, he said, had the best view of the incident and who said he saw Sean Anderson chasing Karol Kelly. Mr Duffy asked the jury: “If Michael Dunlop was there, why did he [the witness] not see him?’

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The barrister said both the prosecution and the defence for the other two accused had ‘glossed over’ evidence that ‘torpedoes the case against Michael Dunlop’

Mr Duffy said the defendant Sean Anderson had told ‘outrageous lies’ during his evidence to the trial.

Meanwhile, Kieran Mallon QC, making his closing address on behalf of the defendant Gary Anderson, said the only evidence that his client had stabbed anyone had come from Michael Dunlop.

He urged the jury to ‘analyse and scrutinise’ accomplice evidence as it could often be ‘self serving’ and to get ‘someone out of the frame.’

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Mr Mallon said there was no evidence that Gary Anderson was at the scene when Karol Kelly was stabbed.

He cited several witnesses who said they saw Gary Anderson arrive at the scene minutes later.

The barrister said his client accepted he had kicked the deceased but that did not make him guilty of murder.

The trial is expected to finish this week.