Thursday 17 October 2019

Freddie Thompson's fingerprints found on cars allegedly involved in murder, court hears

Freddie Thompson and (inset) David Douglas
Freddie Thompson and (inset) David Douglas
Eimear Cotter

Eimear Cotter

FREDDIE Thompson's fingerprints were found on the rearview mirrors of two cars which were allegedly used as “spotter vehicles” in the murder of David Douglas, a trial has heard.

Mr Thompson's DNA was also found on an inhaler plainly visible of the floor of one of the cars.

The 37-year-old, with an address at Loreto Road, Maryland, Dublin 8, has denied the murder of David Douglas (55), who was fatally shot in his partner’s shoe shop at Bridgefoot Street, Dublin 8 on July 1, 2016.

The accused is not alleged to have shot Mr Douglas, but it is the State’s case that he provided logistical support in the planning and execution of a murder and that he was the driver of one of two ‘spotter’ vehicles.

Gardai have alleged that four vehicles were used in the murder, a silver Mercedes, which was the getaway car, a silver Suzuki Swift, a blue Mitsubishi Mirage and a silver Ford Fiesta.

Detective Garda Ronan Lawlor, from the Ballistics Section, told the Special Criminal Court that he examined the Suzuki Swift and Mitsubishi Mirage on July 5, 2016.

Gda Lawlor said he completed a firearms residue kit and took wet and drive swabs of the vehicles.

He said he identified a number of exhibits in the cars, including a chisel, petrol card, burnt hat or gloves and an inhaler.

In cross examination, Michael O'Higgins SC revealed that Mr Thompson's DNA was found on the inhaler.

Gda Lawlor said the inhaler was perfectly visible on the floor with a number of other items.

"If you're into criminal activity and you leave an item like that it's a bit like a beacon in terms of connecting you to the vehicle", Mr O'Higgins said.

"Could be, yes", said Gda Lawlor.

"But not much assistance as to when the inhaler was thrown there".

"Correct", said the garda.

In his evidence, Detective Garda Raymond Kane said that he lifted a number of finger and palm prints from the cars and compared them with Mr Thompson's fingerprints, taken when he was arrested in November 2016.

Gda Kane said he had "no doubt" that Mr Thomspn's fingerprints matched the prints found on the rear view mirror of the blue Mirage and on the rear view mirror of a Ford Fiesta.

Gda Kane said a fingerprint matching Mr Thompson's was also found on a birthday card in the Mirage.

Earlier, a number of garda technical experts had given evidence, beginning with Garda Brian Cleary from the Mapping Section, who provided maps outlining the scene of the fatal shooting, and the area at Spitalfields where the getaway vehicle, a silver Mercedes, was found burnt out.

Detective Garda Caroline Hughes gave evidence of taking photographs of the scene at Bridgefoot Street and at Spitalfields.

Detective Garda Alan Curry, from the Ballistics Section, said he attended the fatal scene at Bridgefoot Street and found a semi-automatic pistol on a floor mat, with its muzzle facing the front door.

Gda Curry said the weapon was photographed and DNA swaps were taken of it.

Gda Curry said the weapon was loaded at the time, and he could see a live round in it. He made the weapon safe by ejecting the magazine and round. He said the Spanish-made Star pistol was “in very good condition”.

The serial number on the gun had been milled away.

Gda Curry said there were a number of spent casings on the ground.

Gda Curry said he was later given a 9mm bullet recovered during the post-mortem on Mr Douglas.

He said he examined it and concluded that it came from the same weapon which was found at the scene.

The court previously heard that four vehicles were used in the execution of the murder.

One of them, a Suzuki Swift, was found burnt out by gardai at Strand Road, Dublin 4 on July 4, 2016.

Garda Darragh Lynch, Garda Darren Reid and Detective Garda Robert Fitzharris all gave evidence that they were on the way to Strand Road in an unmarked patrol car when a vehicle went past them at speed on Parnell Street.

Gda Lynch said there was a man in the driver's seat and a second male was crouched in the rear of the vehicle.

The vehicle eventually stopped, there was a strong smell of petrol from the car and gardai arrested Mr C and Mr F.

Gda Kane also gave evidence that Mr F's fingerprints were found in the blue Mirage while Mr C's were found in the Ford Fiesta.

The trial continues before Mr Justice Tony Hunt, presiding, with Judge Gerard Griffin and Judge Flann Brennan.

It is expected to last two weeks.

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