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Father-of-two was beaten to death after becoming 'messy' during stag do, court told

Journal.ie logo Journal.ie 29/11/2022 Eoin Reynolds
Vincent Parsons. © Garda Press Office Vincent Parsons.

A 34-YEAR-old father-of-two was beaten to death after he had too much to drink at a stag do, became “messy” and irritated one of the two men accused of his murder, a barrister has told the Central Criminal Court.

Lorcan Staines SC opened the case for the prosecution in the trial of Philip Disney (27) and Sean Carlyle (30) who deny murdering Vincent Parsons at Killinarden Way, near the Killinarden Inn in Tallaght on 26 August 2019.

Staines said the deceased had been drinking for several hours at a friend’s stag do when he became “messy”, started hugging people and began to irritate others in the Killinarden Inn before coming to the attention of the accused man Disney.

There were words between them and, counsel said, Disney became irritated and agitated and could be seen on CCTV raising his arm and pointing at Parsons before saying something to him.

Counsel said: “Whatever it was that was said, it caused Vincent Parsons to run. He immediately left the pub out the front door and ran left and away from the pub.”

Staines said it is the prosecution case that the two accused left the pub within minutes, got into a black van and then got out of the van at a green area nearby where counsel said they beat Parsons to death. 48 seconds after stopping at the green area, they got back into the van and drove to Carlyle’s home, counsel said.

Staines said the state’s case is that the men then changed their clothes, left the van “off side” at a nearby housing estate and got a lift back to the pub where he said they could be seen returning on CCTV about 30 to 35 minutes after they had left.

The barrister said that a watch belonging to Parsons, which was a gift from his daughter with the inscription, “To Dad, love Jade, Xmas 2011″, was found in the van that the prosecution alleges belonged to Carlyle.

He said that the deceased’s blood was also found on a pair of shorts that Carlyle was wearing when gardaí entered his house with a warrant less than seven hours after the alleged murder. He said it is the State’s case that the two accused were part of a joint enterprise to murder Parsons.

Sean Carlyle (30), with an address at Donomore Avenue, Tallaght and Philip Disney (27) of Donomore Crescent, Tallaght, have pleaded not guilty to the murder of Vincent Parsons at Killinarden Way, Tallaght on 26 August 2019.

Staines told the jury that Parsons was at a stag do in the Killinarden Inn in Tallaght from 3pm that afternoon. He said that CCTV would show Carlyle entering the pub at about 7.15pm and almost immediately entering a conversation with his co-accused, Disney.

The two accused were sitting on a raised area that overlooks the rest of the pub, counsel said, close to where Parsons was drinking. As the evening progressed Parsons had too much to drink, “got a little messy” and began to irritate other patrons of the pub, Staines said.

Parsons was moving around, hugging people and putting his arms around people when Staines said CCTV will show that he came to the attention of Disney. Disney got off his seat and approached Parsons who was with two other people.

Staines said: “At first everything seems to be fairly amicable… and Philip Disney and Vincent Parsons shake hands and they seem to engage in a little bit of a conversation.” A short time after that, counsel said Disney became “agitated and there’s an interaction between Philip Disney and Vincent Parsons.”

Staines said the co-accused was sitting watching what was happening and rose to his feet to walk to where Disney and the deceased were standing. He said that Disney appeared to be “agitated or irritated by Vincent Parsons” and a man can be seen holding Disney back and at one point Disney “raises his arm and points his finger in the direction of Vincent Parsons and moves towards Vincent Parsons and their heads come into close proximity and clearly something is said between them.”

After Parsons ran away from the pub, Staines said the two accused walked back to the raised area but Disney remained standing and appeared to be agitated. Disney left through the same door that Parsons had left, about 40 seconds after Parsons.

Carlyle followed a short time later, counsel said, and both accused men walked to a distinctive black van that the prosecution says was being used by Carlyle at that time.

Staines said it is the prosecution case that both men got into the van with Carlyle in the driver’s seat and drove away in the same general direction that Parsons had run four minutes earlier and in the direction of where Parson’s would be found at 1.30am that morning having suffered the injuries that would cause his death two days later.

Grainy, poor quality CCTV footage will show that at about 11pm, a minute or two after the black van left the Killinarden Inn car park, a dark van pulled up beside the green area at Killinarden Way. Staines said the footage shows two individuals leaving the van, running in the direction of the green area and then returning to the van 48 seconds later when the van drove off.

Parsons’s cause of death was brain damage due to a shortage of blood flow to the brain as a result of a heart attack which was in turn caused by severe facial injuries and the inhalation of blood, counsel said. “The prosecution case is that he was beaten to death,” Staines added.

A couple of minutes after the black van left the green area, Staines said a black van could be seen stopping close to where Carlyle was living. Two people can be seen leaving the van and walking in the direction of Carlyle’s home and 17 minutes later two people can be seen coming back to the van which then moved off.

Staines said the prosecution case is that the same van went from Dunmore Avenue to Hazel Grove where it was “parked off-side” and where it would be found by gardai the following morning.

When Parsons’s body was found gardaí immediately began an investigation and at 6am, less than seven hours after the accused men could be seen on CCTV returning to the Killinarden Inn, gardaí were at Carlyle’s home with a search warrant.

Staines said they found Carlyle in a cabin at the back of the house where he was in bed wearing sports leisure clothing. They seized the clothes and following analysis the blood of Parsons was found on the front right leg of the shorts Carlyle had been wearing.

Blood belonging to Carlyle was also found on a runner and a towel in the cabin. Gardaí noticed cuts to Carlyle’s hands which he told them were from boxing.

The following day gardaí searched Disney’s home and he gave them what he said were the clothes he was wearing the previous night. Staines said the prosecution alleges that the shorts he gave to gardaí were not the ones he could be seen wearing the previous evening.

He said that Carlyle and Disney were involved in a “joint enterprise or common design” to murder Parsons. They “acted as a team” from the earlier interaction with Parsons to when they returned to the Killinarden Inn, Staines said.

He said it is a circumstantial evidence case with no eye witnesses, no CCTV of the actual killing and no confession from either of the accused.

He added: “In this case, what it boils down to is coincidence, and ultimately you ladies and gentlemen, your tolerance for coincidence, how many little coincidences are required before you can say that you are satisfied beyond reasonable doubt that this is not coincidence or that it would be an affront to common sense to put it down to coincidence.”

The trial continues tomorrow in front of Mr Justice Kerida Naidoo and a jury of six men and six women.

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