Sunday 18 February 2018

Jury shown facial composites of driver accused of double murder of men who were 'assassinated' in stolen car

SCENE:The burnt out car being removed from the carpark of Ravelsdale forest outside Dundalk,
SCENE:The burnt out car being removed from the carpark of Ravelsdale forest outside Dundalk,

Natasha Reid

The jury in a double murder trial has been shown facial composites of the driver of the alleged getaway car used by the killers.

The jury in a double murder trial has been shown facial composites of the driver of the alleged getaway car used by the killers.

Police officers based in Newry had given the descriptions to an expert, after the car had failed to pull over in the city shortly after two bodies were found in a burning car in Louth.

The two PSNI officers and the facial imaging specialist also gave evidence this morning in the Central Criminal Court trial of a Dublin man, charged with murdering two fellow Dubliners in Co Louth.

Jason O’Driscoll (34), with an address at Richmond Avenue, Fairview, has pleaded not guilty to murdering car thieves 31-year-old Anthony Burnett and 25-year-old Joseph Redmond on March 7, 2012.

The trial has already heard that firefighters were called to a burning car in Ravensdale Forest Park shortly before 11 o'clock that night. Two bodies with gunshot wounds to the head were discovered inside.

Lorna Heron, Facial Imaging Specialist with the PSNI, testified that she took separate descriptions from two PSNI officers in March 2012. She worked with the officers on different days.

She explained to Alexander Owens SC, prosecuting, that she had inputted the information into a computer programme. She then used computer-generated images before adding artwork to create two facial composites, which were shown to the jury.

She explained that, because there were two images, she morphed them together to produce a morphed composite. This was also shown to the jury.

The court also heard from the two PSNI officers, who gave her the descriptions. Sgt Stephen Downey and Constable Niamh Mulholland said they had seen the driver for about five seconds when they pulled up alongside the silver Mercedes he was driving in Newry on the night of the killings.

They told Mr Owens that the car had sped off once they requested the driver to pull over and activated the blue lights on their unmarked patrol car.

The court previously heard that a silver Mercedes with no registration plates was found abandoned early the following morning not far from the border.

Mr Owens said in his opening speech that this was the stolen car that had failed to stop in Newry, and in which the accused and another man had left ‘the assassination’ in Ravensdale.

The trial continues this afternoon before Mr Justice Patrick McCarthy and a jury of eight men and four women.

Online Editors

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