Murder trial shown smart phone accused purported to have bought after allegedly killing homeless man
A murder jury has been shown the smart phone and €600 bicycle that a homeless man is purported to have bought after he allegedly killed another homeless man, who had €150,000.
The blue Giant bike was wheeled up the Central Criminal Court courtroom today in the trial of the 29-year-old, charged with murdering Gerard Donnelly in a Dublin park.
The court heard that Gardaí found the 36-year-old’s body on fire in the Phoenix Park in the early hours of November 29th, 2013. The father of one died of blunt force trauma to the head before being set alight and having his little toe amputated.
He had €8,500 in cash and €140,000 in a bank account just weeks earlier.
Ciaran Moran, with an address at Camden Hall, Camden Street in Dublin has pleaded not guilty to murdering Mr Donnelly at an unknown time during November 28th or 29th, 2013.
Sergeant Gavin Ross testified that he searched Mr Moran’s room in the hostel where he had been staying in November 2013. He found the key to a padlock in his drawer and looked around the yard outside.
“I saw a new-looking pushbike with a new-looking lock on it. I tried the key in the lock and it opened it,” he said, describing the blue and white Giant bicycle, which was then shown to the jury.
He said the hostel manager confirmed that Mr Moran owned the bicycle and that he had given her an envelope containing its warranty and receipt. She handed this over to the sergeant, who said the envelope also contained a Carphone Warehouse receipt and insurance certificate in Mr Moran’s name.
The Carphone Warehouse documents were dated shortly after 2pm on November 29th, 2013 and the jury was shown a Sony Xperia phone to which the State said the receipt related.
The trial had already heard that a customer called Ciaran Moran bought a bicycle, lights and lock in a shop on Camden Street that evening (November 29th). The total paid to the bicycle shop was €684.
The jury also heard yesterday that the accused checked into a bed and breakfast in the middle of the night of the alleged murder. The court had previously heard that he was a ‘no show’ at his hostel on Camden Street that night.
Receptionist Maciej Szczupaczynski testified that he was working the night shift in the Durban B&B on Gardiner Street in Dublin.
He said that three people checked in together some time between 2am and 4am on November 29th. The two men and one woman had not pre-booked and shared a room.
He confirmed from a room list that Ciaran Patrick Moran was one of these people. He identified the check-in form in Mr Moran’s name and confirmed that he had paid €120 in cash.
He also identified the copy he had made of Mr Moran’s public service card, provided as identification. He said that he had looked at the photo on the card and was satisfied that it was the person handing it to him.
He said he didn’t smell any alcohol or see any injuries and that the guests were making jokes with each other.
The trial continues before Ms Justice Margaret Heneghan and a jury of nine men and three women.