Friday 19 October 2018

Firefighters found victims' remains after extinguishing car fire - double murder trial hears

Jason O’Driscoll
Jason O’Driscoll

Natasha Reid

Firefighters have described finding skulls and a ribcage after extinguishing a car fire in a Louth car park.

They were giving evidence to the Central Criminal Court this morning in the trial of a 35-year-old Dubliner charged with murdering two men, who the prosecutor described as ‘small-time criminals’.

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 7th, 2012 in Co Louth.

He has pleaded not guilty to both charges and the jury will be asked to use circumstantial evidence to convict him.

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

Stephen Hoey testified that he was called to a burning car at Ravensdale Park near Dundalk that night. He told Anne Rowland BL, prosecuting, that, on putting out the flames, he thought he saw something in the driver’s seat.

He said that he cleared the smoke and saw a skull and rib cage on the seat. He said that by the time Gardai arrived, he could clearly see someone hanging out of the driver's seat. The skull was very badly cracked, he added.

Vincent McGuinness, who was his senior, told Ms Rowland that Mr Hoey had alerted him to the body. Mr McGuinness shone his torch into the car and saw the skull, which appeared to be slumped at the driver’s door.

He said he immediately called his men back as he was concerned that this was now a crime scene, and he called Dundalk Garda station.

He testified that he went over to the car one more time with the Gardai to see that the fire was completely out. A garda shone his flashlight into the car at this stage, and Mr McGuinness noticed a second skull in the driver’s footwell.

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

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