Four people, three men and a woman, are on trial in relation to the murder of Edward Meenan.
The four defendants are Sean Rodgers (34) of Little Diamond in Londonderry, Derek Creswell (29) of King’s Lane in Ballykelly, Ryan Walters (22) whose address was given as Crossgar, and Sinead White (38) of St Brecan’s Park in Londonderry.
Rodgers, Cresswell and Walters are all charged with the murder of Edward Meenan on November 25, 2018.
They are also charged with wounding another man with intent and perverting the course of justice on the same date.
White is charged with withholding information in relation to the offences.
Opening the case for the prosecution Liam McCollum QC said there was no real issue that Edward Meenan had been murdered and the issue for the jury was were the four defendants involved.
He said on the opening day of the trial that some of the case against the accused was circumstantial but there was also direct evidence.
The jury was told that the body of Edward Meenan was found lying in the middle of the road at the rear of a house in Creggan Street at 2.44am on November 25.
Paramedics who arrived at the scene some 14 minutes later ‘recognised immediately’ that he was dead although the formal pronouncement was not made until 10.50am.
The jury heard that Edward Meenan suffered more than 40 stab wounds to his neck, chest, shoulder and arms.
Both legs were fractured and there was extensive ‘blunt force trauma’ on the body caused by ‘heavy punches or kicks.’
A rod like weapon was also used according to Mr McCollum.
He told the jury Edward Meenan and another man arrived at the house in Creggan Street ‘possibly for an illegal purpose’ and when he arrived the three men came out and attacked him and the other man.
The prosecutor said they ‘literally didn’t give him a chance’ but the other man suffered a head injury but managed to run away.
The jury was told that there was ‘a substantial blood spatter’ in the garden of the house at 20 Creggan Street as well as drag marks where the body was taken into the alleyway.
They were told that after the murder the three defendants made their way to the defendant Rodgers’ mother’s house in the Little Diamond where they lit a fire in the back garden and destroyed evidence.
The court heard that Rodgers was seen shovelling items on to a fire in the garden.
The fire the jury heard was directly linked to the murder as some of Edward Meenan’s blood was found on a piece of cloth found in the fire.
Other items found in the fire were a shoe that could have fitted Rodgers. When he was arrested he had no shoes on.
The prosecution said that the case against Cresswell and Walters was “straightforward” as Meenan’s blood was found on them by forensics.
The jury also heard there was CCTV evidence linking all the three men together before and after the murder.
Both Cresswell and Rodgers gave identical stories to the police and Rodgers claimed he was with Cresswell all night. The prosecution said this presented Rodgers with “some difficulties”, because if Cresswell was linked to the scene of the murder, so was Rodgers.
The jury was also told that the defendant Walters gave police “a self serving account” in which he blamed the other two for the murder which he said lasted about half an hour.
Cresswell also served the court with a defence statement in which he “minimized” his role but accepted he was present.
Mr McCollum said the evidence was “strong and convincing” and “overwhelmingly” proves what happened to Edward Meenan by the three.
The case is expected to last five or six weeks.
A message from the Editor:
Thank you for reading this story on our website. While I have your attention, I also have an important request to make of you.
With the coronavirus lockdown having a major impact on many of our advertisers - and consequently the revenue we receive - we are more reliant than ever on you taking out a digital subscription.
Subscribe to newsletter.co.uk and enjoy unlimited access to the best Northern Ireland and UK news and information online and on our app. With a digital subscription, you can read more than 5 articles, see fewer ads, enjoy faster load times, and get access to exclusive newsletters and content. Visit https://www.newsletter.co.uk/subscriptions now to sign up.
Our journalism costs money and we rely on advertising, print and digital revenues to help to support them. By supporting us, we are able to support you in providing trusted, fact-checked content for this website.