Criminal with 64 convictions found guilty of horrific bus crush killing
Published 23/05/2014 | 02:30
A SERIAL criminal who has 64 previous convictions has been convicted of killing a 28-year-old man by knocking him under a bus in Dublin city centre.
Edward Connors (30) who is deaf punched Eoghan Dudley (28) who died almost instantly from "catastrophic and traumatic injuries" after going under the left rear wheel of the Dublin Bus on Dawson Street during rush hour traffic on December 6, 2012.
Connors continued to be involved in a litany of crimes even after he killed Mr Dudley, as he continued to be released on bail.
After being first charged with Mr Dudley's manslaughter, Connors who is from Sandyford, south Dublin, spent a number of weeks in custody before being granted High Court bail.
However within hours of being released he was arrested by gardai after he assaulted two youths who were making their first trip to Dublin from the country and took their phones.
Connors was remanded in custody after this – but was later released again.
He was arrested again after he tried to steal a mobile phone from an undercover garda from Pearse Street station.
The criminal received a suspended sentence for this offence, but was released on bail again –before finally being sent back to Cloverhill Prison last September for repeated breaches of his bail conditions.
He has remained in custody since then, and is facing years in jail after his manslaughter conviction for the horrific killing which was witnessed by shoppers and commuters.
Connors – who has three previous convictions for assault – is also the prime suspect for a savage assault and robbery of a Clonsilla man at Wood Quay in Dublin city centre in 2008.
The victim in that case later died in March, 2009, after suffering a brain seizure some months earlier.
The Clonsilla man's death meant that gardai were never able to prosecute Connors in the case, even though they arrested him in relation to the attack.
Connors is also the chief suspect in a number of terrifying syringe robberies in both the north and south city.
He also has a spate of convictions for thefts and driving offences.
Senior sources have also revealed that Connors did everything he could to get away with the crime after he killed Mr Dudley.
He changed and washed his clothes after the attack as well as blaming another man for punching Mr Dudley.
But he was caught after investigators, led by Detective Inspector Michael Cryan whose officers identified him from CCTV, retrieved the distinctive jacket that Connors was wearing on the evening of the killing and found Connors' fingerprints on a bus which he leaned on.
After his arrest, Connors denied all knowledge of the crime until he was confronted with fingerprint evidence.
Officers believe robbery was the motive for Connors' attack on Mr Dudley – who, like his killer, was a heroin addict, but who had no previous convictions and did not commit crime to feed his addiction.
Mr Dudley came from a respectable family in Rathfarnham, south Dublin, who attended every day of the trial.
Seven eyewitnesses gave evidence that they saw Connors punch Mr Dudley immediately before he fell off the crowded footpath.
Civil servant Fiona Hallinan saw three men arguing on Dawson Street.
She told prosecuting counsel Tom O'Connell that one of the men punched another with a closed fist. Ms Hallinan said she covered her face because she "could see what was going to happen".
Judge Patrick McCartan remanded Connors in continuing custody until his sentence date on June 4.
The court will hear from Mr Dudley's family about the effect of the killing on them.