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Eddie Meenan murder trial: Expert agrees ‘some forensic evidence could be consistent with Walters' version’


Eddie Meenan.

Eddie Meenan.

Eddie Meenan.

A jury has heard a version of events regarding the initial stages of a fatal attack on a Londonderry man provided by one of three men accused of his murder.

Eddie Meenan was beaten and stabbed to death at the rear of a house in the Creggan Street area of the city in the early hours of November 25, 2018.

It is the Crown's case that after arriving at the back of the property with his friend William McConnell at around 2am, the pair were attacked at the rear of the house by three male occupants.

Those men - Derek William Creswell (29) of Kings Lane in Ballykelly, 34-year-old Sean Ciaran Joseph Rodgers of no fixed abode and Ryan Walters (22) of Station Park in Crossgar - have all denied murdering the 52-year-old.

The trio have also denied wounding Mr McConnell, and while all three have admitted being present in the property, they have all denied physical involvement in the fatal attack.

As the trial entered its second week at Derry Crown Court, sitting in Belfast, a forensic expert was called to the witness box for a third day.

Under cross-examination from John Kearney QC, the barrister representing Walters, she was asked to consider a "scenario" put forward by his client.

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Mr Kearney said that having visited the murder scene and having carried out blood sample and DNA analysis on items removed from the scene, he asked her to consider Walters' version of how it started.

The defence barrister suggested Mr Meenan and Mr McConnell walked from an alleyway into the rear of the property via a gate.

He then asked the forensic scientist to "consider the scenario" that the two men "got very, very close to the area of the kitchen window and the back door.

"I want to suggest to you that they did not get into the house, but they got very close to the back door before the occupants of that kitchen - three people - exited the kitchen into the back yard.

"I want to suggest to you that those persons, the occupants of the kitchen, emerged into the yard one after the other, in rapid succession.

"What I want to suggest to you is that Mr Meenan was closest to the back door ... when the kitchen occupants exited into the back yard."

Mr Kearney then claimed that at the back door area, contact was made there "almost immediately between Mr Meenan and the first man out of the kitchen."

He continued "it's Mr Walters' case the first man out of the kitchen was Mr Rodgers, and that he engaged in physically forceful interaction with Mr Meenan", initially at the back door area.

Mr Kearney also suggested the attack on Mr Meenan "continued and spilled back towards the grass and further down the yard towards the gate" where a large pool of blood and a blood-soaked towel were present.

The barrister then said it was Walters' case that Creswell was the second man who exited the kitchen and into the back yard.

The barrister said Creswell exited "hot on the heels of Mr Rodgers", encountered Mr McConnell, and there was physical contact initially between Creswell and Mr McConnell and that Walters was "also involved in that physical contact."

Following the series of suggestions and scenarios, the forensic scientist agreed it was possible to conclude that some of the forensic evidence from the scene - including blood samples - could be consistent with Walters' version.

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