Wednesday 16 August 2017

Man in wig pulled gun from handbag, murder trial told

Keith Walker
Keith Walker

Eimear Cotter

A man disguised as a woman pulled a submachine gun from a handbag and shot dead a racing pigeon enthusiast outside a pigeon club, a jury has heard.

Christopher McDonald (34) was wearing make-up, as well as a long, black wig, dark sunglasses, black gloves as well as black leggings and a black cardigan when he allegedly shot Keith Walker to death.

The Central Criminal Court heard Mr Walker was struck by 18 bullets, and died as a result of multiple gunshot wounds to his head and body.

Witnesses described hearing someone shout "hitman" before shots were fired and they "hit the floor".

Mr McDonald, from the East Wall area in Dublin 1, has pleaded not guilty to the murder of 36-year-old Keith Walker at Blanchardstown Racing Pigeon Club in Clonsilla on June 12, 2015.

Yesterday, a witness, Jason O'Connor, lunged for the murder accused as he walked towards the witness box.

Scene of the shooting on Shelerin Road, Clonsilla.
Scene of the shooting on Shelerin Road, Clonsilla.

A woman sitting in the courtroom shouted "please Jay, don't" as four prison officers held him.

He and the dead man were friends and the jury heard Mr Walker had driven Mr O'Connor's partner's car to the club.

The jury was led away and when they returned Mr Justice Patrick McCarthy said the behaviour witnessed by them was "quite disrespectful to the accused", who enjoys the presumption of innocence.

In his evidence, Stuart Kane said he was standing outside the club talking when he heard someone shout "hitman". He looked around, saw a woman pull a gun out and start shooting. Everyone "hit the floor", he said.

Mr Kane said the shooter was wearing a black wig, black sunglasses and a long black dress.

He said he saw Mr Walker fall to the ground, and the shooter run backwards towards the entrance gate.

Another pigeon club member, Terry Sutcliffe, also said he heard someone shout "hitman". He turned, saw "someone pull something out" and he jumped behind a van.

Mr Sutcliffe said he heard noises which sounded like "a load of fire crackers".

When he came out from behind the van Mr Sutcliffe saw Mr Walker lying on the ground. He went over and saw he was dead.

Mr Sutcliffe rang Mr O'Connor, whose car Mr Walker had been driving, and told him his friend had been shot.

In his opening speech, lawyer Denis Vaughan Buckley said it is the prosecution case that Mr McDonald, dressed as a woman, walked into the car park, removed an automatic firearm from his handbag, ran the last few metres towards Mr Walker and then discharged the weapon multiple times.

Mr Vaughan Buckley said Mr Walker was fatally wounded, and died at the scene.

The trial continues.

Irish Independent

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