Sunday 17 December 2017

Sawn-off shotgun used to shoot Melanie (16) in the head, court told

Melanie McCarthy McNamara
Melanie McCarthy McNamara
Melanie McCarthy McNamara
People arriving for the Melanie McNamara-McCarthy murder trial
People arriving for the Melanie McNamara-McCarthy murder trial
People arriving for the Melanie McNamara-McCarthy murder trial

Andrew Phelan

SLAIN teenager Melanie McCarthy McNamara was gunned down after neighbours saw shots being fired from a gun protruding from a car in a drive-by shooting, the Central Criminal Court has heard.

Witnesses saw the barrel of the gun, flashes coming from it and heard shots before the stolen car fled the scene.

Melanie (16) was sitting in the back of the car with her boyfriend and another man when she was shot in the head by a sawn-off shotgun. She was rushed to hospital, but pronounced dead.

Keith Hall, who has admitted to unlawfully killing Melanie, was subsequently identified as a suspect, the court heard.

Detective Superintendent Brian Sutton was giving evidence today at the sentencing of Hall (24) for the manslaughter.

He had originally been charged with murdering the 16-year-old in Tallaght last year, but the DPP accepted his plea to the lesser charge.

Melanie was shot in the head as she sat in a car at Brookview Way in Tallaght on February 8, 2012.

Gardai believe she was not the intended target of the attack.

Hall, of Kilmartin Drive in Tallaght had entered his guilty plea on the eve of the trial.

Led through his evidence by Brendan Grehan, prosecuting, Det Supt Sutton said Melanie had been sitting in a parked Nissan Primera at 10.32 with her boyfriend Christopher Moran and a friend, Sean Byrne.

A black jeep pulled up and a shotgun was discharged from the driver's seat into the rear passenger seat of the Primera, hitting Melanie in the head.

The jeep fled the scene. The Primera was drive to Tallaght Hospital, where she was pronounced dead at 1.15am.

Neighbours had witnessed "suspicious activity" before the incident, with one seeing the jeep, a Santa Fe, parked opposite her house.

The neighbour saw a man in a grey tracksuit get out of the jeep, look up and down and return to the vehicle.

A neighbour saw the jeep follow the Primera, then heard two shots and the screeching of tyres. Another witness described a tall, skinny man with a scarf across his face crossing the road. A neighbour saw "the barrel of a gun protrude and flashes".

The jeep was later found abandoned at a bus terminus.

Hall, wearing a black jacket and purple shirt sat looking down as the Superintendent was led through his evidence.

Melanie's mother, Melissa McCarthy, was among a large group of family and friends who attended the sentence hearing at a packed Court No 6 in the Criminal Courts of Justice.

They were dressed in pink and white t-shirts with pictures of the deceased and some bearing the slogan: "Justice for our Melanie".

The sentencing hearing continued before Mr Justice Paul Carney today.

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