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BOY OF 14 'KILLED FOR HIS PHONE' Court told how pal beat him to death with a HAMMER.

Byline: SIOBHAN GAFFNEY

A BOY of 15 beat his friend to death with a hammer in a row over a mobile phone, a murder trial heard yesterday.

The battered body of Daragh Conroy, 14, was found outside Mountmellick, Co Laois, last year.

Yesterday, the boy, now aged 16, pleaded not guilty to the murder at the Central Criminal Court.

The court heard Conroy, of Briar Lane, Mountmellick, suffered severe head injuries on November 11, 2003.

Prosecuting lawyer Anthony Sammon said: "Daragh Conroy had a mobile phone that was of interest to the accused."

It was claimed the accused spoke to his friends about the murder and had "formulated the intention to cause the death of the deceased". Dr Patrick O'Dwyer said when Conroy was found he had a "massive depressed skull fracture with brain tissue visible" and he had been dead for about six hours.

Det Garda Thomas Carey, of the Garda Technical Bureau, told the jury that at the back of the deceased's head there were "fragments of skull and brain tissue and a lot of blood".

He added that he went to a house in Mountmellick and found a hammer behind a tree in the back garden.

Det Carey said: "It was the type of hammer used by engineers or mechanics."

The trial continues.

news@irishmirror.ie
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Publication:The Mirror (London, England)
Date:Jul 20, 2004
Words:219
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