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Murder victim had drug dealer 'debt list' of €243,000

A LIST of drug debtors and creditors for amounts totalling €243,000 was found on a murder victim, a trial was told yesterday.

The 'tick list' of 10 initials or names was found on 33-year-old John Carroll after he was shot dead in a Dublin pub more than two years ago.

But the Central Criminal Court heard that no reference was found on the list to any of the four men on trial for the murder.

Father-of-two Bernard Hempenstall (28), from Park Terrace, the Coombe; Peter Kenny (28), of McCarthy's Terrace, Rialto; Damien Johnston (27), of Cashel Avenue, Crumlin; and Christopher Zambra (35), of Galtymore Road, Drimnagh have all pleaded not guilty to murdering the father of three.

He was killed while socialising in Grumpy Jack's Pub in the Coombe just after 9.30pm on February 18, 2009.

Padraig Dwyer, representing Mr Zambra, yesterday handed Detective Sergeant Adrian Whitelaw a document as he sat in the witness box.

"Did you know that when Mr Carroll was shot dead, there was a tick list found on his person?" said Mr Dwyer, explaining to the jury that this was a list a drug dealer would keep of money owed to him or by him.

Det Sgt Whitelaw, a senior garda in the investigation, said he had never seen the list before but confirmed that it was a list of 10 people with figures beside them. He agreed that there was nothing to suggest that any of the people before the court were on the list.

Mr Dwyer pointed out that the figures beside the names and initials ranged from €17,000 up to almost €79,500.

"The star witness in this case said he murdered Mr Carroll for €8,500," he said, referring to Joseph O'Brien, who has admitted being involved in the plot to kill Mr Carroll.

Mr O'Brien was granted immunity in exchange for testifying against the four defendants.

"Here you have a tick list of a quarter of a million euro and you're not aware of it," said Mr Dwyer.

Det Sgt Whitelaw said other gardai would have been dealing with it.

"Not according to the papers we received," replied Mr Dwyer.

The detective sergeant said he also had never seen a report from 2005 in which Mr O'Brien said he was trying to kill a notorious gangster.

"The report came as a surprise to me," he said.

The trial continues before Mr Justice Barry White and a jury of eight men and four women.

Irish Independent