A Dublin man who was charged with the murder of a former soldier nine years ago has today been acquitted by a jury at the Central Criminal Court.
Gary Watson, 35, with an address at Millbrook Avenue, Kilbarrack, Dublin 13 had pleaded not guilty to murdering Warren O'Connor, 24, at Hole in the Wall Road, Donaghmede, Dublin 13 on 16 January 2010.
Mr O'Connor died from a single stab wound to the neck and the knife's blade was found "partially impaled" in his body when his post-mortem examination was conducted.
However, Watson was today found guilty by unanimous verdicts of assaulting Philip Woodcock, 34, causing him harm as well as the production of a knife on the same occasion. The defendant had also denied these charges.
The jury of seven men and five women took four hours and 11 minutes to come to their verdicts.
The two-week trial heard that a fight ensued between two groups of men after Mr Woodcock removed a fuse and cut power to his neighbour's apartment so an allegedly "noisy house party" would end and the occupants would leave.
The trial also heard that one group - which included Mr Woodcock and Warren O'Connor - left Grattan Wood apartment complex in a Ford Focus car on the night before it was rammed by another group - which included Watson - driving a black Honda Civic car.
Garda Damien Carroll testified that he recovered a black-handled knife from a building near Grattan Wood apartment complex in Donaghmede as well as three knives from a black Honda Civic car. No fingerprints belonging to Watson were found on these knives, said Garda Carroll. Furthermore, the court heard that Watson's fingerprints were not found on the blade which was removed from Mr O'Connor's body.
Members of Mr O'Connor's family wept when the verdicts were announced by the court registrar.