Northern Ireland

Taxi driver saw car hit mother and daughter helping victim

A woman taxi driver wept in court on Friday as she told how she saw a hijacked car "swerve" into a mother and daughter who were trying to save the life of a stabbing victim.

Belfast Crown Court heard how Mrs Mary Tennyson stopped her taxi less than 10 feet away from where 49-year-old Eamon Hughes lay after he was stabbed.

She said she witnessed Martina and Emma Donaghy giving him first aid.

She saw a car "hit the girls and then sped off, it went over their legs".

"I just heard the two bangs and then that's when I seen Mr Hughes moving like two feet over the road," claimed Mrs Tennyson.

The taxi driver, with 30 years experience behind the wheel, told prosecuting QC Terence Mooney that if the car had not swerved at the Donaghys "there would not have been any collison".

Asked if the car was in or out of control, she told the court: "The car could have went past without touching them if it had not swerved."

Crossbow bolt

According to the Crown case, the hijacked taxi was being driven by 24-year-old Kevin Toye from Windmill Court in Dungannon who denies trying to kill the mother and daughter.

Toye is also charged with the murder of Mr Hughes who was fatally stabbed in the chest as he walked home with his family after his daughter's 18th birthday party on 14 September 2008.

Also charged with murder and attempted murders in relation to the incident are Dungannon men Martin Murray, 23, from Windmill Drive, his cousin Liam Murray, 24, from Windmill Court, and 25-year-old William McDonagh from Kew Gardens in Ballymena.

A fifth man, Kevin Murray, 41, from Lisnahull Gardens, Dungannon, who is an uncle to the other two Murrays, denies attempting to murder Mr Hughes' son Kevin after he allegedly shot him in the arm with a crossbow bolt.

According to the Crown case, Martin Murray was the knifeman who stabbed Mr Hughes in the chest after telling him "Hughes I'm gonna kill you, I'm gonna stab you" and Toye was the driver of the hijacked taxi which ran over the mother and daughter.

The court previously heard that Martina Donaghy's left leg was broken in three places, her right knee was shattered and she sustained a massive laceration to her upper right leg.

Her daughter Emma also suffered huge lower limb injuries as both her ankles were broken, her left leg was fractured, her left knee was dislocated, there was a severe laceration to her head and injuries to her right arm and hand.

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