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Thursday 17 October 2019

Massereene murder trial: ‘No innocent explanation’ for DNA

Michael McHugh

THE presence of DNA from a man accused of murdering two soldiers in a car used in the attack has no innocent explanation, a prosecutor said today.

Colin Duffy's traces were allegedly left on a latex glove tip and a seatbelt buckle in the getaway vehicle, Terence Mooney QC told the court.

Brian Shivers and Duffy deny the murder of Sappers Mark Quinsey and Patrick Azimkar, who were shot outside their army base in Antrim.

Mr Mooney said: "There is a direct relationship between the items found in the car, including the latex glove and the DNA on the seatbelt buckle, with the attack itself.

"There is no innocent explanation for the finding of Duffy's DNA on the items."

Sappers Quinsey, 23, and Azimkar, 21, were shot dead by the Real IRA as they collected pizzas with comrades outside Massereene Army base in Antrim town in March 2009.

Duffy, 44, from Forest Glade in Lurgan, Co Armagh, and Shivers, 46, from Sperrin Mews, in Magherafelt, Co Derry, deny two charges of murder and the attempted murder of six others - three soldiers, two pizza delivery drivers and a security guard.

A barrister for Duffy has said that the DNA could have been left in the car at a time entirely separate from the attack and asked the judge to halt the case.

Mr Mooney said: "Those involved shared a common intent that the attack should occur and the consequence would be death or serious injury of those targeted.

"Duffy was one of the participants of that enterprise."

He said it was clear Duffy either assisted in the attack and preparation of the car or was present at the time of the attack, with the knowledge that the plan involved lethal assault weapons.

"He shared common intent, that he assisted others knowing that they would use lethal weapons with intent to cause serious injury," he added.

Judge Mr Justice Anthony Hart refused the defence application to stop the case.

"This is not a case where at this stage there is either no evidence against Duffy, nor is it the case where the prosecution evidence has been so discredited or is so intrinsically weak that it could not properly support a conviction," he said.

"The application is accordingly refused."

The case continues.

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