THE father of a 27-year-old accused of murdering a man in Co Wicklow three years ago has said his son told him "he was going to be framed for something he hadn't done".
Michael Dickenson of Darragh Park, Wicklow, has pleaded not guilty to murdering Steven O'Meara at Ballydonnell Wood, Red Cross, Co Wicklow, on or about August 6, 2009.
Mr O'Meara, a 26-year-old father-of-three from Rosehill in Wicklow, was last seen on August 6, 2009.
His body was found by gardai in a shallow grave five months later, on Christmas Eve, in an isolated wooded area at Ballydonnell, Red Cross.
It is the prosecution's case that Dickenson drove Mr O'Meara out to the remote Ballydonnell Woods, where he was shot by another man who then helped the accused drag the body into a shallow grave.
Yesterday the accused's father Noel Byrne, gave evidence his sons Michael and Patrick came to see him "in a bit of bother".
He told Denis Vaughan-Buckley, prosecuting, that he was told "a chap had gone missing in Wicklow and they were being accused".
Mr Byrne said Michael told him Patrick "was in trouble with drugs", that Michael got the drugs from people he had been in prison with and sold them on but "did not pay the people".
He said they were looking for him and the amount of money was "about e15,000".
He said Michael told him he was driving with his former partner earlier that day and a gang of lads jumped on his car and got "a bit upset".
"Michael said he was going to be framed for something he hadn't done," said Mr Byrne.
Mr Byrne said he was "asked if he could help them get out of the country because these people were after them".
He said tickets were bought on the internet for the two to go from Rosslare to Fishguard and he dropped them to the ferry port the next morning.
Detective Garda Shane Curran told Mr Carroll he went to Ballydonnell Wood on Christmas Day, 2009, where he saw the leg bones of an adult male protruding through the ground.
The trial will resume on Monday before a jury of seven men and five women.