Belfast Telegraph

Yes, I had a knife, admits stabbing murder accused

A man accused of murdering a father after his daughter's 18th birthday party has admitted he had a knife, a judge has heard.

During an exchange with trial judge Mr Justice Treacy, Martin Murray's defence lawyer conceded “there's no dispute that at some stage at this scene Mr Murray had a knife”.

Martin Murray (23), from Windmill Drive in Dungannon, is accused of murdering 49-year-old Eamonn Hughes in September 2008 after he left a party for his daughter's birthday.

Alongside him in the dock of Belfast Crown court accused of the murder are his cousin Liam Murray (24), from Windmill Court, 24-year-old Kevin Toye, from Windmill Court, all Dungannon, and 25-year-old William McDonagh, of Kew Gardens, Ballymena.

All four also deny attempting to murder Martina Donaghy and her daughter Emma who were run over as they tended to Mr Hughes, plus one charge of affray. Kevin Murray (41), from Lisnahull Gardens, Dungannon, an uncle of the other two Murrays, denies attempting to murder Mr Hughes' son Kevin after he allegedly shot him with a crossbow.

The Crown claims Martin Murray stabbed Mr Hughes in the chest as he walked home in the Lisnahull estate and that Toye drove over the mother and daughter in a hijacked taxi.

Yesterday Peter Carey, a friend of Kevin Hughes, said he saw Martin Murray standing in front of the taxi holding a knife “looking like he was going to go for somebody”. He said the car sped off, chased by Eamonn Hughes and others, and then after they caught up with it, he saw Mr Hughes lying on the ground injured after a “scuffle”.

Under cross-examination Mr Carey denied seeing any of the Hughes' arming themselves with belts or breeze blocks, claiming he was focused on Murray holding the knife. The lawyer suggested to him “you were never going to say that you saw the Hughes clan in any violence”. Carey stressed: “I only said what I seen.”

When cross-examined by Toye’s lawyer, Carey said he was phoning an ambulance when he saw the taxi coming back up the road “flat- out” before it “veered” across and hit the Donaghys.

The lawyer put it to him that another witness had earlier testified that as she sat in her car she saw the taxi driving up the road at a “perfectly ordinary speed”, but he denied that replying: “No, definitely not — it was flying.”

The trial continues.

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