Saturday 21 April 2018

Killer gets life for shooting man 10 times in parked car

Nicola Donnelly

A DUBLIN man has been sentenced to life in prison after he was found guilty of shooting dead a father-of-one sitting in a parked car.

Jonathan Douglas (27), aka Yuka, of O'Devaney Gardens in Dublin, had pleaded not guilty at the Central Criminal Court to the murder of Aidan Bryne at Drumalee Avenue, north Dublin on February 20, 2010.

The jury of seven men and five women returned a majority verdict of 11-1 after three hours and 45 minutes of deliberations following the 11-day trial. He thanked the jury and exempted them from jury duty for life.

“It's distressing for everyone concerned,” said Mr Justice Paul Carney when a female friend of Douglas broke down in tears and ran out of the court room. There was no reaction from the victim's family.

Mr Justice Carney sentenced Douglas immediately after the jury returned their verdict and remanded him to re-appear before the court next Monday for the deceased man's family to prepare a Victim Impact Report.

The jury heard Douglas, who has 94 previous convictions including a conviction for dangerous driving causing death, was hired to kill 31-year-old Mr Byrne who was a front seat passenger of a Toyota Corolla car which was driven by another man to a lane way in Drumalee estate near the North Circular Road.

Douglas waited for the arrival of the car and walked up to it before firing 10 bullets into the passenger window, killing Mr Byrne. The bullets hit the victim in the chest and abdomen.

Mr Byrne was attended to by paramedics who attempted to resuscitate him after he went into cardiac arrest and was brought to the Mater Hospital but he was pronounced dead at 9.24pm.

Prosecution counsel Gerard Clarke SC said Douglas was drinking in Eamon Rea's pub on Parkgate Street in Dublin a short time before the shooting.

“He left the pub suddenly leaving half a drink behind him and went to where Mr Byrne was going to be driven to and he was waiting to shoot him,” said Mr Clarke.

Assistant State Pathologist Dr Michael Curtis told the court Mr Byrne died from multiple gun shot wounds to his body. He said that eight of the bullets had exited Mr Byrne's body while two remained inside his body.

“The injuries sustained are consistent with someone being shot a number of times while they were seated and there were attempts made by the deceased to turn away from the gunfire,” said Dr Curtis.

During the trial, two of the prosecution witnesses retracted their statements which implicated Douglas but Mr Justice Carney allowed their statements be submitted to the court. Stacey Douglas, a step-niece of Jonathan Douglas and her boyfriend Andrew Sheridan, claimed they were in fear of the gardai and "told them what they wanted to hear" so they could go home. Ms Douglas also claimed gardai threatened that her daughter would be taken away from her.

Both Ms Douglas and Mr Sheridan told gardai that Douglas called to their house a short time after the shooting and admitted killing Mr Byrne. They told gardai he showed them the gun, washed himself and then left the house.

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