Sunday 8 December 2019

Roy Collins murder trial adjourned following sudden death of accused's mother

Roy Collins
Roy Collins

Natasha Reid

THE murder trial of two Limerick men has been adjourned due to the death of the mother of one of the accused, who will attend part of her funeral under prison service escort.

Nathan Killeen (23) is on trial at the Special Criminal Court along with Wayne Dundon (35), charged with murdering businessman Roy Collins in the city five years ago.

Mr Killeen of Hyde Road, Prospect; and Mr Dundon of Lenihan Avenue, Prospect; have pleaded not guilty to murdering the 35-year-old at Coin Castle Amusements, Roxboro Road Shopping Centre on April 9, 2009.

Their trial opened before the non-jury court on Thursday and was adjourned until yesterday. However, Mr Killeen’s mother died unexpectedly on Friday morning.

When the case was called before the three-judge court this morning, the presiding judge immediately addressed Mr Killeen’s barrister, Giollaíosa Ó Lideadha SC.

“May I start by expressing the court’s condolences to your client for the tragic loss he suffered over the weekend,” said Ms Justice Iseult O’Malley

Mr Ó Lideadha said that his client, who is in custody, wished to express his appreciation to the prison officers and management for the compassion shown to him.

He said that the prison governor had confirmed that the prison service would be in a position to provide a supervised escort for his client to visit the funeral home during the removal on Wednesday afternoon or evening. He asked the court to make the order required.

Mr Ó Lideadha also asked for an adjournment of the case until next week in light of the circumstances.

Ms Justice O’Malley said she had no wish to compel anyone to continue with a trial while undergoing such a process. She granted the adjournment and made the order sought.

“I want to express the court’s appreciation to the prison service for their very appropriate handling of the situation,” she added...

The trial heard last week that Mr Collins was at work when a gunman entered his amusement arcade and discharged a single shot, hitting him in the chest. He died soon afterwards.

Prosecutor Michael O’Higgins SC said that Wayne Dundon had directed the murder from prison, Nathan Killeen was the getaway driver and another man, James Dillon, was the gunman.

He said prosecution witness Gareth Collins Keogh would testify that in March 2009, Nathan Killeen put him on the phone to Wayne Dundon, who offered him €20,000 and drugs to drive a car.

He’d say that Killeen explained that they were planning to ‘whack’ the deceased man’s father, Stephen Collins. Mr Keogh would testify that he refused, but that another man accepted.

The trial resumes on Monday.

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