Friday, November 04, 2022

Fiona Magennis

A 16-year-old boy who stabbed Urantsetseg Tserendorj as she walked home from work attempted to rob a second woman a short time later before taking out a knife and telling her: “That could have ended a lot worse for you”, his murder trial has heard.

Tayo Odelade told the Central Criminal Court how the teenager, who cannot be named because he is a minor, came up behind her and tried to steal her mobile phone on the night of January 20th, 2021 as she went for a walk near her home in Dublin’s city centre.

Ms Odelade said she fought back, there was a struggle and she managed to pull her phone away before ending up on the road.

She said the teenager remained on the footpath and as she looked back, the accused opened his jacket, took out a knife and said, “that could have ended a lot worse for you”.

Tserendorj stabbing

Ms Odelade took the stand on Friday to give evidence in the case of a 16-year-old who has pleaded not guilty to the murder of Uransetseg Tserendorj but guilty to her manslaughter on January 29th, 2021.

The plea of manslaughter was not accepted by the State.

He has also pleaded guilty to producing a knife and to attempting to rob Ms Tserendorj on a walkway between George’s Dock and Custom House Quay in the IFSC, Dublin on January 20th, 2021.

The 49-year-old Mongolian national died when the single stab wound inflicted by the teenager severed her carotid artery.

Ms Odelade, an accountant, said she had been working from home on January 20 and went for a walk to clear her head after a long day.

She said as she was walking back home, she took out her phone to listen to some music.

Not long after someone came up behind her on the right-hand side and tried to grab it from her.

The phone was relatively new, Ms Odelade said, and so she gripped it tightly and didn’t let go.

Second alleged attack

Following a struggle, the young woman ended up on the road and swore at the accused, shouting “what the f**k are you doing?”

The teen said “I was only messing”, Ms Odelade said she replied “no you were not” and then turned and went to walk home.

At this point the accused said “what did you say?” and Ms Odelade said she got the impression he was offended by what she had said.

He was behind her and she was looking back at him because she didn’t feel safe and felt he could harm her, the jury of six men and six women heard.

Ms Odelade told how he then opened his jacket, took out a knife and made the comment that it “could have ended a lot worse for you”.

The knife appeared to be about four or five inches long, she said.

The witness said she then apologised to the teenager and he nodded and said right.

She said she got the impression he was happy with the apology and he then got on a scooter and headed back towards Amiens Street.

Garda interview

The court heard evidence from Detective Sergeant Brendan Casey from Store Street Garda Station who interviewed the accused following the incident.

He said after reading Ms Odelade’s statement to the accused, the 16-year-old said “it’s true, I did it, I’m sorry, but I did it”.

The teenager told him “I was just out of my head, I didn’t know what I was doing, and I wanted money”.

Asked what happened after Ms Odelade refused to hand over the phone, the teenager said “I took out a knife. I had it in my hand, I wasn’t going to do anything. It was just to intimidate her”.

Det Sgt Casey confirmed the teen was subsequently charged in relation to this incident, the matter came before the court and he pleaded guilty to the offence.

Husband

Evidence was also heard, with the assistance of an interpreter, from Ms Tserendorj’s husband, Ulambayer Surenkhor who told the court he received a distressed call from his wife at around 9.30pm telling him she had been stabbed in the neck.

He said Ms Tserendorj told him “I’m dying, please hurry”.

The widower told prosecuting counsel Sean Guerin SC his wife said she had been confronted by someone wearing a black hat and mask who said: “give me money”.

“She said I don’t have money then he stabbed her and cycled away,” Mr Surenkhor told the court.

He said he immediately left the house, still wearing his slippers, and met his wife at the taxi rank at Connolly Station.

Mr Surenkhor said the emergency services were called with the assistance of a taxi driver.

He said his wife had her hand on her neck and was pressing it, but it was bleeding a lot.

She asked him to get her a tissue and again said “I am dying, what should we do? I am dying”.

Mr Surenkhor said when the ambulance arrived Ms Tserendorj was very frightened.

Her hand was shaking and she told him “my head is exploding”.

She was bleeding heavily as she got in the ambulance and he could see there was swelling to the front part of her neck.

By this point she was struggling to breath and again told him she was going to die, Mr Surenkhor said.

He was unable to travel with his wife in the ambulance because of Covid regulations in place at the time but attended the hospital later that evening after receiving a call from gardaí to say Ms Tserendorj’s condition was very serious.

The case continues on Monday.

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