Thursday 22 March 2018

Murder trial hears prosecution witness asking gardai for protection if he became afraid to give evidence

Nicola Donnelly

A jury in a murder trial has been shown video footage of a prosecution witness asking gardai what they would do to protect him if he was afraid to give evidence.

Andrew Sheridan, who gave a statement to gardai implicating Jonathan Douglas in the murder of Aidan Byrne, was shown on a video recording of the reading over of his statement, telling gardai he “doesn't know anything about him (the accused)” and that he doesn't know who the accused “does be with.”

“If I happen to be afraid, not saying I am, how would ye protect me?” Mr Sheridan asked gardai.

Gardai told him to let them know if he is afraid and they will deal with it then. But Mr Sheridan replied “I'm just saying.” It was day six of the trial.

Mr Sheridan told gardai Douglas, aka Yuka, called to the house of his girlfriend Stacey Douglas' home while he was there, and admitted shooting someone in the Cattle Market in Drumalee estate earlier. He said Douglas showed him the gun and winked at him. He said Douglas told his girlfriend he was asked to shoot Mr Byrne.

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

The video recording also shows gardai asking Mr Sheridan is he happy with his statement to which he replied 'Yes.'

Earlier in the trial both Mr Sheridan and Ms Douglas, who is a step-niece of the accused, retracted their statements, saying they were told what to say by gardai and Ms Douglas claimed she was threatened that her child would be taken away from her if she “did not tell gardai what they wanted to hear.”

The trial continues before Mr Justice Paul Carney and a jury of seven men and five women. The prosecution's case is expected to close tomorrow.

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