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Man acquitted of Nigerian schoolboy's murder

KILLED: Toyosi Shittabey

ONE OF two brothers charged over the murder of 15-year-old Nigerian schoolboy Toyosi Shittaby walked free from Dublin’s
Central Criminal Court last Wednesday (Dec 12).

The judge, Mr Justice Barry White directed the jury to find him not guilty of being an accessory to murder and not guilty of possessing a
baseball bat as an offensive weapon.

However, Justice White expressed remorse that vital evidence was not heard after a key prosecution witness refused to take the stand.

As reported in The Voice in April of 2010, Toyosi died from a stab wound to his heart after a fight broke out between his group of friends, and two brothers, Paul and Michael Barry, then aged 38 and 23 respectively, on the Mount Eustace estate in the Dublin suburb of Tyrellstown.

Toyosi’s party had been returning to their homes from the nearby National Aquatic Centre when they first encountered the brothers, and, “a row with racial undertones” developed, the court heard.

The group fled, and the two brothers returned to their home before getting into a jeep and pursuing them because they believed the youths had taken a mobile phone from Michael.

They caught up with the group on a stretch of road called The Boulevard, a fight ensued, and Toyosi was fatally stabbed inflicted by Paul.

The two brothers were arrested shortly after, with Paul Barry initially
being charged with manslaughter, and his younger brother with possession of a baseball bat, under Ireland’s Firearms and Offensive Weapons Act.

A later court hearing changed the charges to a joint charge of murder.
However, before the case could come to court, Paul was found dead in his central Dublin flat, and it is believed he took his own life.

On the last sitting of six-day trial, Mr Justice White concluded there was no evidence to suggest Mr Barry knew his brother Paul was carrying a knife at the time.

He directed the jury of seven men and five women to find Michael Barry not guilty.

He expressed concern that "the interest of justice may not be well served in this case” in relation to the prosecution witness.

"I don't know what his evidence was to be but prosecution advised he was an important witness," said Justice White.

A source close to the Shittabey Family, Rosanna Flynn of the immigrant support group Residents Against Racism (RAR) told The Voice “it was the boy who was attacked originally by Paul Barry, who Toyosi went to help.

“He was a key witness and he wouldn’t come. The Gardai [Irish police] went to England but couldn’t get him to make a statement. His family were against it. It was paranoia that there might be repercussions.

“Toyosi’s mother Bola and the rest of his family are very sad about it, but feel there’s nothing they can do now.”

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