Monday 19 February 2018

Jury to start deliberations in Limerick double murder trial

Nicola Donnelly

THE jury in a double murder trial is to commence its deliberations tomorrow morning.

The 13-day trial reached its closing stages at the Central Criminal Court and after both prosecution and defence counsel's closing speeches, the jury were charged by Mr Justice George Birmingham.

Mr Justice Birmingham sent the jury of six men and six women home for the evening and told them he will continue his charge in the morning and will send them out to deliberate their verdicts after that.

Desmond Kelly (23) and Breda Waters (28) were shot dead in a house in O'Malley Park in Limerick on January 9, 2011 at around 9am.

First cousins Patrick O'Brien (33) of Glanntan, Golflinks Road, Castletroy, Limerick and Thomas Stewart (29) of The Cedar, Briarfield, Castletroy, Limerick have both pleaded not guilty to the murders of Mr Kelly and Ms Waters on January 9, 2011 at O'Malley Park in Limerick.

It is the prosecution's case that O'Brien and Stewart acted as a joint enterprise.

Mr Brendan Grehan, SC said the prosecution's case relies on circumstantial evidence and said substantial CCTV footage of various locations throughout the O'Malley Park and Roxboro areas suggest the two people who were spotted outside an unlicenced premises near Roxboro Road are the same two people seen on CCTV walking towards the house in O'Malley Park prior to the double shootings.

He said it is the prosecution's case the two accused entered Mr Kelly's house, shot dead both Mr Kelly and Ms Waters within ten minutes before they left and walked to Mr Anthony Kelly's house where they changed their clothes and "the inference is they may have left the gun there,"

said Mr Grehan.

He told the jury it is "simply not the situation of bad luck or co-incidence that you can simply dismiss out of hand. Join the dots and you get a complete picture of the guilt of both men."

Mr Sean Gillane, SC, defending O'Brien asked the jury to "turn the case on its head when looking at evidence and to assess the evidence appropriately."

He asked the jury to consider "if there is evidence of people who are prepared to say things of O'Brien that aren't true in an attempt to blacken him," and asked them to consider whether evidence given by some witnesses is "truely reliable, accurate and independent."

Mr Hugh Hartnett, SC, defending Stewart, told the jury that there is "no motive suggested by the prosecution whatsoever and I submit this is very critical as it is the missing strand in the rope."

He also asked them to be satisfied that Stewart entered the house in O'Malley Park. He also said "on evidence there is significant doubt in the case as the prosecution tried to join dots together but didn't join them when it didn't suit them."

Mr Justice Birmingham told the jury he will conclude his charge in the morning and send them out to commence their deliberations.

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