A BRUTAL gangland killer serving a life sentence for murdering a hitman in front of his children has failed in an appeal against his conviction for murder.
Judges at the Court of Criminal Appeal ruled that the prosecution was right to rely solely on DNA evidence in the absence of other connecting evidence in the case of Keith Wilson (26), who was convicted in 2011 of the murder of Daniel Gaynor who he shot dead in August, 2010.
Keith's cousin Luke Wilson (20) was present in court to hear the judges deliver their verdict. He lost an eye when he was the victim of an attempted shooting murder in January of last year.
At an earlier hearing in the Appeal Court, Keith Wilson's barrister Dominic McGinn SC said judge Mr Justice Garrett Sheehan told the jury they were the deciders at the 2011 trial.
Mr McGinn also said "more compelling evidence would have put Mr Wilson at the scene - it is wrong to rely solely on a scientist's evidence in the absence of connecting evidence".
He added that the judge should have given something along the lines of a warning to the jury of the absence of corroboration.
Alex Owens SC, for the State, said no such warning should have been given and that the method used by gardai to obtain DNA had been necessary, due to Wilson's refusal to cooperate.
Mr Owens told the court that gardai had taken cigarette butts discarded by Wilson and that they had been relied upon after he had refused to provide body samples.
During Keith Wilson's two-week trial for the murder of Gaynor, no motive was given, but it later emerged that Wilson was paid to shoot Gaynor by a shadowy veteran crime boss from Ballyfermot who is one of the main smugglers of cigarettes into Ireland.
The murder was ordered because Gaynor shot Colm 'Collie' Owens (34) dead as he worked in an animal feed store in Finglas.
It was all part of a complicated and bitter cash dispute between criminal gangs and the IRA mob that had been led by slain Real IRA chief Alan Ryan.
On August 14, 2010, Gaynor was shot in the neck by Keith Wilson while walking in St Helena's Road with his girlfriend and two children on their way to their aunt's house.