Friday 30 September 2016

Wayne Dundon entitled to justice just as anybody would be, claim lawyers

Ruaidhrí Giblin

Published 04/04/2016 | 17:41

Wayne Dundon
Wayne Dundon

Lawyers for notorious criminal Wayne Dundon have told the Court of Appeal that he is “entitled to justice just as anybody would be”, in their efforts to expand the grounds on which he is appealing his conviction for making threats to kill.

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Wayne Dundon (37) of Lenihan Avenue, Ballinacurra Weston, was found guilty by the Special Criminal Court in 2012 of threatening Alice Collins that he would kill or cause serious harm to her sons Gareth Collins and Jimmy Collins at Hyde Avenue, Limerick on September 30 2010.

The non-jury court also found him guilty of the intimidation of potential prosecution witnesses Alice and April Collins with the intention of obstructing the course of justice on the same occasion.

Wayne's younger brother John (33), with an address at Hyde Road, Limerick had also been found guilty of threatening to kill April Collins at Hyde Road on the weekend of April 3rd and 4th 2011.

Following their convictions, the three-judge Special Criminal Court sentenced Wayne to six years imprisonment and younger brother John to five-and-a-half years imprisonment on April 18, 2012.

The brothers are due to open appeals against their convictions today in the Court of Appeal.

However, counsel for Wayne Dundon, Michael Bowman SC, attempted to add additional grounds of appeal this afternoon before the full hearing.

The additonal grounds relate to telephone conversations of persons recorded while in prison which emerged in the subsequent trial of Wayne Dundon and Nathan Killeen for murder.

Mr Bowman opened his application by submitting a family tree to the court to show the “complex connections” between the immediate Dundon and Collins families.

He claimed Wayne Dundon at all times maintained that this was a “familial breakdown”. By complaining that the brothers had threatened them, the Collins' saw “an opportunity to get the Dundon boys offside”, Mr Bowman alleged despite the Special Criminal Court's finding to the contrary.

The Special Criminal Court made a ruling in the subsequent murder trial, Mr Bowman said, that the evidence of Gareth Collins could not be relied upon at all because his allegation that Wayne Dundon admitted to murdering Brian Fitzgerald in 2002 could not have happened because Wayne Dundon was in custody at the time.

Mr Bowman said there was a “capacity among the (Collins) family” to generate a false statement and he referenced a recorded call between Alice Collins and her husband, which emerged in the subsequent trial, that “must hang a very significant question mark” over her evidence, he claimed.

Mr Bowman said Wayne Dundon was “entitled to justice just as much as anybody would be in these courts” and a number of other matters, including “bare assertions” that certain CCTV cameras weren't working at particular times, were of “grave concern”.

Counsel for the Director of Public Prosecutions, Shane Costelloe SC, objected to Mr Bowman's application to add additional grounds of appeal.

Having considered the submissions, Mr Justice George Birmingham, who sat with Mr Justice Alan Mahon and Mr Justice John Edwards, said the application to add additional ground could not be dealt with on an informal basis.

The application must be done by way of a motion, the judge said.

He asked counsel for both sides if they would be in a position to prepare a formal motion to be opened in court before the full hearing today.

Mr Costelloe said he would do his utmost to be in a position to reply to the motion tomorrow. He added that the case had dragged on for 30 odd months and he did not want to delay matters further.

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