Jury in murder trial told they can consider manslaughter if they reject murder

Zoltan Almasi of Harbour View in Naas denies beating Joseph Dunne with a baseball bat in May 2014

The jurors in a Kildare murder trial have been told they may consider the lesser offence of manslaughter if they reject the murder charge.

Zoltan Almasi of Harbour View in Naas denies beating Joseph Dunne with a baseball bat in May 2014.

In his closing speech this morning, Bernard Condon, Senior Counsel for the DPP, said the main battleground is whether this is a case of manslaughter or murder.

Zoltan Almasi admits grabbing a baseball bat after seeing a number of men kicking and jumping on his van on the night of May 16th 2014 but he repeatedly denied hitting Joseph Dunne with it during four interviews with Gardai. He said he only meant to scare him and returned home after the 20-year-old fell while he chased him down the street.

A number of Mr. Dunne’s friends gave evidence of seeing a man striking him on the head with a bat and a post mortem revealed he died from a blunt force trauma to the head.

Ms. Justice Margaret Heneghan is now addressing the jurors for a final time before they retire to consider a verdict.