Saturday 17 February 2018

Firearms residue suggests murder accused was at shooting of Roy Collins - court hears

Murder victim Roy Collins
Murder victim Roy Collins
Wayne Dundon (Inset: Murder victim Roy Collins)

Natasha Reid

Firearms residue found on the tracksuit bottoms of one of the men accused of murdering a Limerick businessman supports the suggestion that he was at the shooting, his trial has heard.

A Forensic scientist was giving evidence to the Special Criminal Court in the trial of two Limerick men charged with murdering Roy Collins on April 9, 2009.

Wayne Dundon (36), of Lenihan Avenue, Prospect and Nathan Killeen (24) of Hyde Road, Prospect have both pleaded not guilty to murdering the 35-year-old at Coin Castle Amusements, Roxboro Road Shopping Centre, Limerick.

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 died of wounds to his abdomen.

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.

Dr Thomas Hannigan of the Forensic Science Laboratory testified that he found firearms residue on the tracksuit bottoms taken from Nathan Killeen following his arrest in an attic an hour after the murder.

He elaborated that this comprised ‘a population of particles containing at least one characteristic particle and others consistent’ with firearms residue.

“The majority of the particles found were similar to the residue from the cartridge case,” he said, referring to the bullet shell found at the scene.

However, he added that he also found some particles inconsistent with those from that cartridge case.

“The presence of firearms residue on the tracksuit bottoms provides moderately strong support for the suggestion that Nathan Killeen was present when Roy Collins was shot,” he said.

The scientist agreed with Giollaíosa Ó Lideadha, defending Killeen, that he could not say that it was less likely that the pants had subsequently come into contact with an item on which such particles were present.

The court earlier heard a superintendent deny ‘making damn sure’ that he didn’t pass on information from one of the main prosecution witnesses because he knew it was ‘nonsense’.

The court has already heard from the chief prosecution witness against Dundon, Gareth Collins. The 31-year-old testified that Dundon offered him €20,000 to take part in the murder, but said he refused.

The trial heard that he first made the allegations against Dundon in 2011, during a meeting he requested with detectives while in Limerick prison. He also implicated Dundon in the 2002 murder of Brian Fitzgerald at that meeting, but the court has heard that Dundon was in prison the night the bouncer was shot.

Superintendent James Ryan yesterday recalled being briefed by his detectives about the meeting with Collins. He said he told one of them to link up with a member of the Roy Collins investigation team and take a full statement from the prisoner about that murder.

He said he felt that this investigation was more urgent than the Fitzgerald investigation, which was nine years old at that stage.

Remy Farrell SC, defending Dundon, put it to him that it must have been obvious that the prisoner’s implication of Wayne Dundon in the Fitzgerald murder was nonsense due to his imprisonment on the night.

“When it became obvious to you that what he was saying was nonsense, you made damn sure that it wasn’t passed on,” suggested the barrister.

“I reject that insinuation completely,” replied the superintendent. “I strongly reject that remark.”

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

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