Murder accused admitted killing of James Boyce to his mother

Friday 17 January 2014 18.32
James Boyce died at his Limerick home in March 2011
James Boyce died at his Limerick home in March 2011

The mother of a Limerick man accused of murdering an elderly man with a sweeping brush said he was in tears as he admitted he did it.

Christopher McNamara, 21, of Good Shepherd Villas, Pennywell Road in Limerick has pleaded not guilty to the murder of James Boyce, 71, at St Munchins Street, St Mary's Park in Limerick between 6 March 2011 and 7 March 2011.

In a statement read to the jury at the Central Criminal Court by Micheál O'Higgins SC, prosecuting, mother of the accused, Pauline Whelan gave an account of the days following the death of Mr Boyce.

"On Sunday March 6th, I overheard Christopher on the phone to Mr Boyce telling him he would be over to fix the fire."

"I woke at 9am the next morning and Christy rang that day to say he had a surprise for me. He had a new 42-inch television. When I asked where he got the money for it he said he had robbed two building sites."

The statement went on to say that Christopher had said “who murdered Jimmy” when he heard that a murder inquiry had begun.

"He was very stunned when he heard there was a murder inquiry. He said 'who murdered jimmy'."

"I told him I heard that the coffin was closed at the funeral and said 'did you do it son'. He said 'I did mam but I didn't do that to the man'. He was crying."

"I said why and he said he didn't know why he did it. I asked him was there anyone else involved and he said no."

"He said he choked him with the handle of a sweeping brush. He showed me with the motion of his hands pushing."

State Pathologist Marie Cassidy gave details of a post mortem she carried out on 8 March 2011 on Mr Boyce.

Based on her examination, Dr Cassidy concluded that Mr Boyce had been the victim of an assault with a long striking edge and that the fatal injuries were those on his neck.

Dr Cassidy said: "I confirmed that he (James Boyce) was a victim of an assault with a long striking edge.

"He had tramline bruises to the right cheek and right side of the neck which could have been caused by six to nine blows.

"In this case, the brush could have caused the tramline injuries."

The trial continues before Mr Justice Garrett Sheehan and a jury of seven men and five women.