Monday 23 October 2017

Man accused of shooting father-of-one dead was hired to kill, court told

A DUBLIN man accused of shooting dead a father-of-one was hired to kill him, a trial has heard.

Jonathan Douglas (27) of O'Devaney Gardens, in Dublin, has pleaded not guilty at the Central Criminal Court to the killing of Aidan Byrne, at Drumalee Avenue, in Dublin, on February 20, 2010.

Opening the trial, prosecuting counsel Gerard Clarke, SC, told the jury Mr Douglas was paid to shoot Mr Byrne.

He said the jury will hear evidence 31-year-old Mr Byrne was a front seat passenger of a Toyota Corolla car which was driven by another man to a laneway in Drumalee estate, near the North Circular Road.

The accused man is alleged to have been waiting for the arrival of the car and allegedly walked up to the car and fired ten bullets into the passenger window at around 8.40pm. The bullets hit Mr Byrne in the chest and abdomen.

Counsel said evidence will be heard that 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.

Mr Clarke said there will be evidence that the accused man, Mr Douglas, was drinking in Eamonn 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 it is the prosecution's case he left to go to where Mr Byrne was going to be driven to and he was waiting to shoot him,” said Mr Clarke.

“There will be evidence of things the accused did and said after the event which clearly indicate he was the person who shot Mr Bryne,” prosecution counsel said.

David Connolly, a resident in Drumalee Avenue, was the first witness on the scene after the shooting. He told prosecuting counsel he was watching television with his girlfriend when at around 8.40pm he heard a series of loud bangs.

“I went outside and saw a man in the passenger side of the car who looked like he was choking and leaning over the hand break,” said Mr Connolly.

He said he dialled 999 and he didn't see anyone else on the scene.

“The passenger window of the car was shattered and I was able to work out a man had been shot,” he added.

Assistant State Pathologist Dr Michael Curtis said Mr Byrne died from multiple gun shot wounds to his body. He said following a post-mortem, eight of the bullets 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 gun fire,” said Dr Curtis.

The trial continues before Mr Justice Paul Carney and a jury of seven men and five women.

Editor's Choice

Also in Irish News