Tuesday 12 December 2017

Smirking gunman guilty of murder

Two others acquitted following six-week 'supergrass' trial

Natasha Reid and Dearbhail McDonald

A Dublin man has been found guilty of murdering a father of three in the city two years ago.

Two other men were found not guilty, one on the direction of the judge, while the jury couldn't agree on a fourth defendant, following a six-week 'supergrass' trial at the Central Criminal Court.

Peter Kenny (29), of McCarthy's Terrace, Rialto smirked as he was found guilty of murdering John Carroll (33).

Father-of-two Bernard Hempenstall (28), from Park Terrace, The Coombe, and Damien Johnston (27), of Cashel Avenue, Crumlin, were acquitted, and no verdict was reached in relation to Christopher Zambra (35), of Galtymore Road, Drimnagh.

The DPP must now decide whether to retry Mr Zambra, who has been remanded in custody.

All four had pleaded not guilty to Mr Carroll's murder.

Mr Carroll, from Charlemont Street, was shot dead while socialising in Grumpy Jack's pub in the Coombe just after 9.30pm on February 18, 2009.

He died of haemorrhage and shock less than two hours after the shooting.

The case was built around the word of the only man to admit taking part in the murder.

A drug dealer since he was 15, a garda informant and a heavy gambler, "supergrass" Joseph O'Brien was arrested trying to leave Ireland. After admitting to sourcing the motorbike used and relaying information back and forth, he turned State witness.

He was accepted into the Witness Security Programme and granted immunity from prosecution in exchange for testifying against the defendants. In his two weeks in the witness box, Mr O'Brien testified that Mr Zambra was the planner and the man with the money, Kenny the shooter and that Mr Hempenstall gave away the victim's location.

Mr O'Brien said Mr Johnston had driven Kenny to and from the scene on the motorbike. However, Mr Justice Barry White withdrew the case against Mr Johnston as Mr O'Brien's identification of him was based on a glimpse of the back of his head.

Irish Independent

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