Cousins were allowed to congregate together in prison cell while other prisoners worked, court hears
A court has heard that one of the men charged with murdering businessman Roy Collins was allowed to spend his days in prison chatting with his cousin while all other prisoners worked or were locked in their cells.
A prison officer from Wheatfield Prison was giving evidence to the Special Criminal Court yesterday (Thursday) in the trial of two Limerick men charged with murdering the 35-year-old on April 9, 2009.
Wayne Dundon (36), of Lenihan Avenue, Prospect and Nathan Killeen (24) of Hyde Road, Prospect have both pleaded not (NOT) guilty to the murder at Coin Castle Amusements, Roxboro Road Shopping Centre, Limerick.
The non-jury court has heard that Mr Collins was at work that day when a gunman entered his amusement arcade and discharged a single shot. The bullet hit him in the chest and he died of his wounds in hospital a short time later.
It’s the State’s case that Wayne Dundon directed the murder from prison, Nathan Killeen was the getaway driver and another man, James Dillon, was the gunman.
Patrick Murphy testified yesterday that he supervised a ‘paint party’ at Wheatfield Prison in April 2009, explaining that this was a working party of prisoners, who maintained the prison.
He said that Dundon and his cousin, Anthony ‘Noddy’ McCarthy, were ‘non-working members’ of the party, who accompanied it every day.
He explained that the cousins were allowed to congregate together in a cell without doing any painting.
“That was the arrangement at the time,” he said.
‘Rarely if ever’ would they have had paintbrushes in their hands, he said.
He said that all other prisoners would spend their days either on work or education activities or locked in their individual cells.
He said that prisoners, who happened to have friends in a different landing in the prison, would normally meet these friends at mealtimes.
“How normal was the course of events with the McCarthy Dundons?” asked Michael O’Higgins SC, prosecuting.
Mr Murphy said it was ‘most unusual’ to have non-working members of a party.
“Is it so they could congregate?” he was asked.
“Yes,” he replied, explaining that this lasted for more than four hours every day.
“What were they doing?” asked Mr O’Higgins.
“They were sitting in a cell,” replied the officer.
“Just chatting?” asked Mr O’Higgins.
“I presume so,” he replied.
Earlier, Inspector Brendan McDonagh testified that Wayne Dundon had been sentenced to 10 years in prison in 2005 for threatening to kill Ryan Lee.
The trial has already heard from Anthony ‘Noddy’ McCarthy, who is serving a life sentence for murdering Kieran Keane in 2003. He testified that Dundon told him on the morning of the murder that he had ordered James Dillon to kill Mr Collins.
The trial continues before three judges, presided over by Ms Justice Iseult O’Malley.