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Man under ‘airwave manipulation’ during attack on family

A man charged with the murder of his brother and the attempted murder of his father told gardaí that he was under the influence of ‘airwave manipulation’ during the attack at his family home, a trial in Co Cork has heard.

John Murphy Jnr, 44, of Seaview, Carrigaline, Co Cork has gone on trial at the Central Criminal Court in Cork charged with the murder of his brother Shane, 27, and the attempted murder of his father John Aloysius ‘Weeshie’ Murphy Snr.

Mr Murphy Snr, who is a widower, was 75 years old when the attack occurred.

Mr Murphy Jnr is also charged with two counts of producing a knife on the same occasion on 26 March 2022 at the family home in Carrigaline.

Prosecuting counsel Jane Hyland, SC, told the jury of five women and seven men that it was an “unusual case” in that the defence asserts that at the time of the offence Mr Murphy Jnr “was effectively not guilty by reason of insanity”.

She said that barristers for Mr Murphy Jnr effectively have to prove the entitlement of their client to this defence.

She said that the defence psychiatrist was essentially of the view that Mr Murphy Jnr was in a “psychotic state” as a result of his schizophrenia and that his judgement “was impaired”.

Ms Hyland said that the defence psychiatrist maintains that the accused was of “the delusional belief” that the victims in the case were “conspiring to kill him”.

“He (the psychiatrist) will tell you that he (the accused) did not know what he was doing was wrong.”

Ms Hyland said this position was also held by the psychiatrist for the prosecution in the case.

Meanwhile, Detective Garda Ian Breen told the court that John Murphy Snr was living with his sons John, Brian and Shane when the attack occurred in their home on 26 March 2022.

Mr Murphy Snr lost his wife Marie in 2012. Their son Brian was not at home when the attack occurred.

Det Gda Breen said that Mr Murphy Snr was watching golf on television at 2.50am on when his eldest John came into his bedroom and told him to go into the house of a neighbour.

No explanation was furnished but “for the sake of peace” the pensioner began to get dressed.

He said that John Murphy Jnr began to strangle his father.

Det Gda Breen said that Mr Murphy Snr shouted for help from his other son who ran into the room to assist his father.

“Weeshie escaped. [As he was escaping] Shane screamed he had been stabbed and to get an ambulance. It [going to the help of his father] was a selfless action [by Shane].”

He said that Mr Murphy Jnr went out onto the street and stabbed his father before returning to continue his assault on his brother.

Neighbours said in garda statements that at around 2.50am they heard Mr Murphy shouting: “Please stop, John. I will do whatever you want.”

They heard him repeat those words around ten times.

Det Gda Breen said that Mr Muprhy made a 999 recording at 3.11am. During the “graphic recording”, he was heard to be “terrified and retreating” and “begging John to stop”.

Mr Murphy said that he needed an ambulance. However it is understood that he died during the emergency call.

Two gardaí from the Armed Support Unit were first at the scene at 3.40am.

Det Gda Breen said that they found MM urphy “lying in a pool of blood”. Efforts were made to resuscitate him but he was formally pronounced dead at 5.25am.

Dt Gda Breen said that a post-mortem examination on Mr Murphy by Assistant State Pathologist Dr Margaret Bolster revealed that he sustained nine stab wounds in the incident.

This included a stab wound to the heart which was fatal and a potentially fatal injury to the left lung. Mr Murphy died of haemorrhage and shock.

The scene was preserved and forensically examined. A broken knife was recovered from the property.

A couple who lived nearby told gardaí in a statement that at 3.15am they spotted a man “believed to be Weeshie on the road outside with his son John sitting on top of him”.

Mr Murphy Snr staggered up the road to safety. A passing taxi driver, Patrick Murphy, stopped and went to his assistance.

Mr Murphy Snr told the taxi driver that his “young fella had gone berserk” in the house.

Mr Murphy Snr was hospitalised for ten days following the incident.

The court also heard evidence from Det Gda Breen that the accused was captured on CCTV shortly after the attack in a nearby garden with a rucksack.

Gardaí recovered the rucksack, which contained jeans that had the blood of John Murphy Snr on them. A t-shirt in the rucksack had the blood of his brother on it.

Det Gda Breen said that the accused went to the house of a friend where he was captured “hyperventilating” on doorbell CCTV.

He said that Mr Murphy Jnr had “blood and mud” on his hands.

He told his friend that he had intervened in a fight between his father and brother and that they were “both dead”.

He insisted that the friend bring him to nearby Passage West.

He alighted from the car during the journey and the friend called gardaí.

At 8.04am Mr Murphy Jnr was observed on Cork Street in Passage West.

Det Gda Breen said that he arrested Mr Murphy Jnr on the street. He was sent to Cork University Hospital for a psychiatric assessment where he was deemed fit to be interviewed.

Det Gda Breen said Mr Murphy Jnr was interviewed on three occasions. During garda interviews, Mr Murphy Jnr accused gardaí of “manipulation of the airwaves”.

He admitted assaulting his father and stabbing Mr Murphy “six or seven times”.

He said,”It was either me or Shane. One of us had to die.”

When asked how he felt after the incident Mr Murphy Jnr said “strong but gutted”.

Det Gda Breen said that Mr Murphy Jnr made completely baseless allegations that his father and brothers “had been trying to kill him and trying to set him up”.

Det Gda Breen said that Mr Murphy Jnr said in a garda interview that he had set up the scene to make it look like his brother had killed his father and that he was “ashamed of that”.

He was charged with murder and attempted murder on 28 March 2022 and was transferred to the Central Mental Hospital.

A family member said in a garda statement that Mr Murphy Jnr had threatened to kill his brother two days before the attack.

The family said that Mr Murphy Jnr was “anxious and depressed”.

The court heard that Mr Murphy Snr sustained serious injuries in the incident.

This included a collapsed left lung and a laceration on same. He also had injuries to his liver and displaced fractured ribs.

Det Gda Breen said he was a “fit man” and made a good physical recovery.

The garda said that when Mr Murphy Jnr was first arrested, he was “loud and abusive” in the garda van when he was being brought into custody.

Defence counsel Tom Creed, SC, said that his client was “singing in the van” on the way to the garda station.

He said his client was “lucid at times and agitated at times” and engaged in “bizarre behaviour”.

Det Gda Breen said that Mr Murphy Jnr was “sober and coherent” on the way to the garda station but was clearly “trouble”.

The case continues tomorrow.

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