Wednesday 22 November 2017

Fiancee of murdered Roy Collins felt 'numb' after shooting, court told

Roy Collins
Roy Collins

Brian Kavanagh

THE fiancée of murdered businessman Roy Collins has recalled how she felt “numb” while waiting on news of his condition in hospital on the day he was shot.

Melissa Crawford today gave evidence in the Special Criminal Court trial of Nathan Killeen (24) of Hyde Road, Prospect and Wayne Dundon (36), of Lenihan Avenue, Prospect, who 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. He was conscious for a time, but his life could not be saved.

In his opening speech, Michael O’Higgins SC said it was the prosecution case that Wayne Dundon had directed the murder from prison, Nathan Killeen was the getaway driver and another man, James Dillon, was the gunman.

Ms Crawford told Mr O’Higgins that she was with Roy Collins for seven years and in April 2009 they were living together in the house they had built in Killaloe.

She agreed that in the year 2000 Roy got the lease on the Coincastle Amusement Arcade and she worked there alongside him on most days.

Ms Crawford agreed that on the morning of April 9 she was driving to the arcade when she received a telephone call with the news that Roy had been shot.

She said she went straight to the hospital but by the time she arrived doctors were working on Roy and it was not possible to see him. Ms Crawford agreed that she was informed later that her fiancé had died from a gunshot wound.

The witness told Michael Bowman BL, for Wayne Dundon, that she arrived at the hospital at roughly half past twelve in the afternoon.

Asked if she recollected at what stage she was informed Roy had passed away, Ms Crawford replied: “I know that I was hanging around outside the theatre. I remember I felt numb and I had my head between my legs: I couldn’t believe what was happening”.

She said at that stage she believed Roy was still alive but did not know when the doctor informed her of his death and it could have been within an hour or two hours. Ms Crawford agreed it was sometime between 1:30 and 2:30pm.

The witness told Mr Bowman she did not see Ms April Collins at the hospital at any stage. Ms Crawford said she knew Ms Collins to see but did not see her that day.

Last week the court heard evidence from April Collins that on the day Roy Collins was shot her son was sick and she took him to the regional hospital in Dooradoyle.

Ms Collins, who grew up on Hyde Avenue in Ballincurra Weston, used to be in a relationship with Gerard Dundon - a brother of the accused Wayne Dundon - and had three children with him.

While in the hospital, Ms Collins said that she received a call on her mobile phone.

The court heard there was an issue on voice recognition and Mr Bowman asked the court to take the matter as a voir dire; a trial within a trial to determine the admissibility of this part of the evidence. 

Later asked if she saw anybody else in the hospital, Ms Collins told prosecution counsel Sean Guerin SC that she saw Melissa Crawford, who she knew to be the girlfriend of “the man that was murdered”. 

The court earlier today ruled that challenged evidence of the arrest of Nathan Killeen on the afternoon of April 9 at a house on Crecora Avenue, where he was found by gardai hiding in the joists of the attic, was admissible at the trial.

Detective Garda David Baynham had previously given evidence that Nathan Killeen ran away from his garda patrol car when he saw him on Hyde Avenue just minutes after the shooting.

Last week, Giollaiosa O Lideadha SC, for Mr Killeen, told the court that he would be challenging the admissibility of all evidence arising out of any searches and entries to properties on foot of certain warrants secured by gardai, the lawfulness of the arrest and detention of Mr Killeen and all material arising from that detention.

He asked that the court regard itself as being in a voir dire when this evidence became relevant.

The trial, which has now moved in to a voir dire on evidence of the detention of Mr Killeen at Roxboro Road Garda station, continues in front of presiding judge Ms Justice Iseult O’Malley.

Irish Independent

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