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Lawyers challenge murder conviction over Forristal death

Published 09/11/2006

Lawyers for the 20-year-old man appealing his conviction for murdering a 68-year-old horse-breeder in Waterford say the dead man, in brandishing a knife, went beyond what the circumstance demanded.

Anthony Barnes, of Ballybeg in Waterford city, was convicted earlier this year of murdering Richard Forristal at his home after he and another man were caught burgling his house.

Mr Forristal was returning home from the funeral of Tara Whelan, who had been killed in a terrorist attack in Turkey, on July 21st last year.

He came upon Anthony Barnes and another man burgling his home at Carrigavantry Stud.

Barnes had claimed he was defending himself from a knife attack by Mr Forristal when he fatally stabbed him in the chest.

His lawyers today, in appealing the murder conviction, say the dead man's attack on Barnes was unlawful.

They maintain Mr Forristal could have challenged the men in a non-knife-wielding way.

They also contain that the trial judge, in charging the jury, set the bar of self-defence too high in stating that there had to be imminent threat of death to constitute this defence.

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