Jury hears recording of deceased’s 999 call

THE jury at a manslaughter trial in Cork heard a recording of the voice of the deceased as he called 999 overnight about the alleged assault at the center of the case.

Adrian Henry, of Seminary Rd, Blackpool, Cork, is charged with the manslaughter of 40-year-old James Duncan at Patrick St in Cork on September 12, 2019. He denies manslaughter and is on trial in Criminal Court Cork Circuit before Judge Helen. Boyle and a jury of eight men and four women.

Mr Duncan was from Dunmore Gardens, Knocknaheeny.

Rachel Behan gave evidence that she answered Mr Duncan’s 999 call at Anglesea Street Garda station call center at 9.15pm on September 12, 2019. She said he said he was assaulted and that he wanted the gardaí to come. Ms. Behan thought the man was crying on the phone.

A recording of the phone call was later played during the trial. A voice was heard saying to Mrs. Behan: “I am outside the Modern. Just outside the Ulster Bank, near the Modern…in Cork City. I am after being attacked.

When asked who attacked him, he replied, “A guy. He is always there. He fucked me up. I need help.”

His name was James Duncan and he said, “No, I don’t need an ambulance, but I need help… Thanks. Thank you.”

Members of Mr Duncan’s family cried in court when this recording was played during evidence.

Ray Boland, prosecuting, opened the case before Judge Helen Boyle and the jury of eight men and four women on Monday and said it is expected to continue through this week and into next week.

Mr Boland said: “The State alleges that Adrian Henry assaulted James Duncan and as a result of that assault he died and it was not a trivial assault. The state says it can prove that on September 12, 2019, the late James Duncan and the defendant, Adrian Henry, were present on St Patrick’s Street. They were attending a homeless charity known as the street cafe which was held every Thursday evening.

“It happened on the pavement outside Murray’s hardware store next to the Ulster Bank. The prosecution case is that the deceased was assaulted by the accused and died in hospital six weeks later, on October 25, 2019, from this injury.

Dr. Jason Orchard arrived in an ambulance team that provided on-site medical care in emergency situations. Another ambulance which was called to take Mr Duncan to hospital came from Tipperary Town overnight. There was evidence that this ambulance was called just before 10 p.m. and Dr Orchard estimated it arrived at 11 p.m.

“The patient was placed in the ambulance and I instructed the team to take him to Mercy University Hospital for immediate attention in the resuscitation unit,” Dr Orchard said.

Defending Tom Creed said: “There were no injuries to suggest he was beaten – no visible or obvious signs that this man had been beaten in the face or body.”

The doctor replied, “Not obviously.”

Dr Orchard said the Glasgow coma scale for a conscious person is 15 and the number before death is 3. He found that the number on Mr Duncan’s scale that night was of 6.

Donal McCormack, a paramedic with Tipperary Ambulance, found that when he met Mr Duncan his place on the scale was at 4.

The trial continues.


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