Tuesday 12 December 2017

Businessman Roy Collins died of single gunshot wound to his liver and heart, trial hears

Roy Collins
Roy Collins

Limerick businessman Roy Collins died of a single gunshot wound to his liver, aorta and vena cava, a Special Criminal Court murder trial has heard.

The trial of two men charged with his murder was today hearing medical evidence about attempts to resuscitate him and his cause of death.

Nathan Killeen (24) of Hyde Road, Prospect and Wayne Dundon (36), of Lenihan Avenue, Prospect have pleaded not guilty to the murder of 35-year-old Roy Collins at Coin Castle Amusements, Roxboro Road Shopping Centre on April 9, 2009.

The non-jury court has heard that Mr Collins was at work around noon that day when a gunman entered his amusement arcade and discharged a single shot, hitting him in the chest.

It’s the prosecution case that Wayne Dundon directed the murder from prison, Nathan Killeen was the getaway driver and another man, James Dillon, was the gunman.

Advanced paramedic Damien Gaumont testified that he arrived to the casino at 12.11pm that day. He said he found Mr Collins on all-fours and in distress but conscious. He said Mr Collins was complaining of having difficulty breathing.

Mr Gaumont rushed him to University Hospital, Limerick and handed him over to a consultant there at 12.23pm.

That consultant, Dr Cathal O’Donnell, testified that Mr Collins was talking when he arrived, but efforts to save his life were unsuccessful. He pronounced him dead at 12.55pm.

Prosecutor Michael O’Higgins read out the report of State Pathologist Professor Marie Cassidy, who carried out a post-mortem exam on his body.

She concluded that he died of a single gunshot wound to his trunk, wit the shot entering the front of his chest and exiting his body at his back.

She said the shot had injured his liver, inferior vena cava and aorta. She said his airways had filled with blood, which had hastened his death. She said he would have been upright when shot.

The court also heard that Nathan Killeen told detectives that he ran from gardai shortly after the murder because he had hash.

Detective Garda Maria Kiely was giving details of an interview she had carried out with him afterwards.

She testified that he said that he had run from gardai because he had hash, which he said he had thrown before jumping over a wall.

When asked why he had then hidden in an attic, he said that he also had bags of weed.

Also yesterday, the court was shown a black semi-automatic pistol, which had been loaded when found in rugby grounds in the city three years later.

Peter Gardiner of the Probation Service testified that he was supervising three men on community service in July 2012. He said they were cutting long grass in a neglected area of Young Munster Rugby Club, when one of the lawn mowers spat out a gun.

“There was this bang and this thing shot out from under the lawn mower,” he recalled. “It appeared to be a gun, but I thought it was toy or replica.”

He realised that the weapon was real once he picked it up, he said, identifying it for the court.

Remy Farrell SC, defending Wayne Dundon, put it to Mr Gardiner that it certainly wasn’t three years of growth he was dealing with at the club.

“I don’t know. I couldn’t answer that question,” he replied. “It could be more.”

Sergeant Gearóid Thompson, who was called to the find, said that there were three bullets in the magazine when he examined it. He couldn’t tell if there was any further ammunition in the chamber as it was rusted shut.

The trial continues before three judges, presided over Ms Justice Iseult O’Malley.

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