Schoolboy Josh Dunne, who was stabbed to death during a "stand-off" over a stolen bicycle, sustained two stab wounds to the chest including one that penetrated the main artery in the body, a pathologist has told the Central Criminal Court.

When asked by defence counsel whether one movement of the knife could have inflicted the two wounds to the 16-year-old's chest, Assistant State Pathologist Dr Heidi Okkers said it was possible that "one sweep" could have caused both wounds but it would have been "very difficult".

George Gonzaga Bento, 36, a Brazilian national, with an address in East Wall in Dublin 3 is charged with murdering 16-year-old Josh Dunne at East Wall Road, East Wall on 26 January, 2021.

George Gonzaga Bento has pleaded not guilty to murder

Mr Bento is also accused of producing an article in a manner likely to intimidate another in the course of a dispute or fight, namely a utility knife.

The defendant is further accused of assault causing harm to two other young men on the same occasion. He has pleaded not guilty to each of the four counts.

The prosecution alleges that Mr Bento, a delivery cyclist, produced a knife during a "stand-off or confrontation" with a man on a moped who had stolen another delivery cyclist's bike. Josh Dunne and other youths arrived at the scene and got involved in the confrontation.

Giving evidence today, Dr Okkers told Garret Baker BL, prosecuting, that she carried out a post-mortem examination on Mr Dunne on 27 January 2021, where she found that he had sustained two stab wounds to the chest.

Cause of death 'stab wound to chest'

She said the cause of death was a stab wound to the chest and that an exact replica of the knife was shown to her on 5 February.

The expert witness gave evidence on the type of knife used in the attack, and on the injuries suffered by Josh Dunne.

Dr Okkers said there were two stab wounds to the chest, one on the right and the other on the left.

The stab wound on the right entered the chest cavity and upper lobe of the lung and had ended in the aorta, which was the fatal injury. The injury had caused bleeding around the heart and in the chest cavity itself.

The cause of death was a single stab wound to the right side of the chest with no other contributing factors, she said.

Under cross-examination, the witness told Padraig Dwyer SC, defending, that one of the stab wounds to the chest was fatal as it had penetrated the chest. The second wound cut through subcutaneous tissue but did not penetrate the chest cavity.

When asked by Mr Dwyer if one movement of the knife could have inflicted the two wounds to the chest, Dr Okkers said it was possible that "one sweep" could have caused both wounds but that would have been "very difficult".

In re-examination, Mr Baker put it to the witness that she was asked by the defence to explore whether one sweeping movement or one movement could have caused both of the main injuries to Mr Dunne's chest and that she had put this in context by saying that the direction of each of the wounds were completely different.

"Yes, which might indicate there were two stab movements," she replied.

Following this, a 17-year-old boy, who cannot be named because he is a child, told Mr Baker that he did not see anyone being stabbed that night but did remember Josh dropping to the ground. The boy said he tried to check for Josh's pulse and, although he did not know how to, he had given him mouth to mouth at the scene.

Under cross-examination, the boy agreed with Keith Spencer BL, defending, that it was obvious that the man on the moped was the aggressor on the night and was trying to steal a bike.

The boy said he saw Josh run over to the fight and "throw punches" at one of the Deliveroo men. Mr Spencer put it to the witness that he did not say this in his statement to gardaí.

"I don't know," he replied.

Defence counsel Mr Dwyer put it to another 17-year-old boy, who also cannot be named because he is underage, that the statement he made to gardaí was "completely at odds" with what can be seen in the CCTV footage that night and that there were "multiple inaccuracies" in it.

The boy agreed that his statement was "completely at odds" and that he had got involved in the incident before Josh that night.

He also agreed that he knew the man on the moped was stealing a bike. However, he denied that he was trying to give gardaí "a whitewash version of events".

"If the jury was to believe you and not have the CCTV footage they would have had a distorted picture of what happened that night, does it not bother you that there is a man on trial for murder?," asked Mr Dwyer.

"It does," replied the boy.

When asked if it bothered him that several other people were involved in the attack before Josh had got involved, the boy said it did.

Under re-examination, the boy told Sean Guerin SC, prosecuting, that he had hit one of the Deliveroo driver's twice in the face that night.

The trial continues tomorrow before Mr Justice Paul Burns and a jury of five men and seven women.