Thursday 19 July 2018

Bodies were fused together after car blaze, court hears

The scene at Ravensdale Park, close to Dundalk, where the bodies of Anthony Burnett and Joseph Redmond were found in a burned-out car. Picture: Tom Conachy
The scene at Ravensdale Park, close to Dundalk, where the bodies of Anthony Burnett and Joseph Redmond were found in a burned-out car. Picture: Tom Conachy
Anthony Burnett
Jason O’Driscoll

Natasha Reid

A detective sergeant has described finding the bodies of two small-time criminals fused together in a burned-out car six years ago.

Det Sgt Shane Curran was giving evidence to the Central Criminal Court in the trial of a 34-year-old Dubliner charged with murdering two men.

Jason O'Driscoll, with an address at Richmond Avenue, Fairview, is accused of murdering fellow Dubliners 31-year-old Anthony Burnett and 25-year-old Joseph Redmond on March 7, 2012, in Co Louth.

The prosecutor has described Burnett and Redmond as "small-time criminals".

Mr O'Driscoll has pleaded not guilty to both charges and the jury will be asked to use circumstantial evidence to convict him.

Det Sgt Curran, of the Garda ballistics section, testified that he was called to a car park in Ravensdale Park, near Dundalk, that night.

He told Alexander Owens SC, prosecuting, that he saw a burned-out car containing the badly burned remains of two adult males.

"The body in the driver seat was slumped out the door, the head was slumped out the door," he recalled.

"The body in the passenger seat was slumped across this body, partially fused."

He said he and his colleagues carefully separated the bodies and, with no identification for them, they assigned 'Body A' to the passenger's remains and 'Body B' to the driver's.

He also attended the post-mortem examinations on both bodies.

He said that two badly damaged bullets were recovered from the head area of Body A. They were fragmented into seven pieces.

He said that two damaged bullets of the same calibre were also recovered from the head area of Body B. They were in four pieces.

The jury also heard that the two bodies were later identified using DNA analysis on their muscle samples.

Forensic scientist Dr Emily Jordan said she extracted DNA profiles from samples taken from both bodies.

She compared them with DNA reference samples from Redmond's mother, Pauline Doran, and from Burnett's mother, Marie Burnett.

She said that her findings were "fully consistent" with Body A being the biological son of Ms Burnett and Body B being the biological son of Ms Doran.

The trial has previously heard that Burnett and Redmond were involved in burglaries and stealing cars.

They grew up in the Ballybough area of Dublin and were still living there at the time of their deaths.

Mr Owens told the court the two men had little or no knowledge of the Ravensdale area.

The trial continues today before Mr Justice Michael White and a jury of five women and seven men.

It is expected to last up to five weeks.

Irish Independent

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