Thursday 29 September 2016

'We know who killed Joseph' - Sister 'infuriated' by brother's inquest ruling

Louise Roseingrave

Published 10/03/2016 | 07:08

Esther Uzell Photo: Tony Gavin
Esther Uzell Photo: Tony Gavin

A 29-year-old man was shot dead at close range by a gunman as he made his way to work 11 years ago, an inquest heard.

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Joseph Rafferty (29), from Hayworth Court, Ongar, Clonee, Co Dublin, was shot twice with a shotgun outside his apartment on April 12, 2005.

Dublin Coroner’s Court heard the shooting was a targeted killing.

Coroner Dr Brian Farrell asked Mr Rafferty’s sister, Esther Uzell, if her brother was in fear of his life.

She replied that he was and he had received death threats.

Speaking after the inquest, Ms Uzell said the verdict that her brother had been unlawfully killed by a person unknown was infuriating. She said her brother had come to the aid of another sister who had been assaulted.

“That line is hard to listen to because we know who killed Joseph. It makes me so angry. The case is still open and we hope that someone will come forward and give that small extra detail that’s needed for charges to be brought against Joseph’s killer,” she said.

Det Insp Richard McDonnell of Lucan Garda Station issued a plea for anyone with information to come forward.

The shotgun was never recovered and the case is under review.

Hayworth estate resident Carmel Assad said her house overlooks the car park where the shooting took place.

Between 9.20am and 9.30am that day she was upstairs and about to make the beds when she heard two loud bangs.

“It’s a sound like I never heard before, but I knew when I saw him coming from side of the van and stumble and fall that he’d been shot,” she said.

Gunshots

She saw a man leave the scene holding a sports bag.

“He wasn’t running, but he was moving fast. It looked like he knew exactly what he was doing. He was chubby, not fat, in his early 30s with a goatee beard and of average height,” she said.

Sgt John O’Donnell of Blanchardstown Garda Station had patrolled the estate in an unmarked car minutes before the shooting. “Obviously I didn’t know what was going to happen,” he said.

Another neighbour, Roland Ganiev, described hearing the gunshots, which he said sounded “like Chinese firecrackers”, and saw a man running away wearing a yellow jacket on with the words “Rat Boy” on the back.

Mr Rafferty had been shot in the chest and left calf. He staggered from his van across the car park and collapsed on the grass verge.

The shot to his chest entered his right chest cavity and inflicted devastating injuries to his lungs and heart. The cause of death was a shotgun wound to the chest.

The jury returned a verdict of unlawful killing by a person unknown.

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