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Suspects made chain of calls before Grumpy Jack's killing

THE jury in a Dublin murder trial has heard a detailed breakdown of mobile phone communication between the defendants around the time of the killing.

The four men are on trial at the Central Criminal Court, charged with murdering a 33-year-old father-of-three in a city pub two years ago.

John Carroll (33) was shot dead while socialising in Grumpy Jack's Pub in the Coombe just after 9.30pm on February 18, 2009.

Father-of-two Bernard Hempenstall (28) from Park Terrace, The Coombe; Peter Kenny (29) of McCarthy's Terrace, Rialto; Damien Johnston (27) of Cashel Avenue, Crumlin; and Christopher Zambra (35) of Galtymore Road, Drimnagh have all pleaded not guilty to his murder.

Sarah Skedd, crime and policing analyst with the Garda, gave details of six mobile phone numbers yesterday.

They included two numbers for Hempenstall, one for Johnston, one for Kenny and another attributed to Zambra.

The sixth number belonged to the chief prosecution witness in the case, Joseph O'Brien.

He admitted being heavily involved in the killing but was granted immunity in exchange for giving evidence against the four defendants.


He has testified that Zambra was the brains behind the murder, that Hempenstall told the others where the victim was and that Johnston drove alleged gunman Kenny to the scene.

Mr O'Brien had been a friend of Hempenstall and Johnston up until his statements to the gardai a couple of days after the murder.

Ms Skedd said that Mr O'Brien, Hempenstall and Johnson made several calls and texts from 7.55pm on the evening of the murder.

Between 8.08pm and 8.17pm, Hempenstall and Mr O'Brien both rang the phone attributed to Zambra and Mr O'Brien also rang Hempenstall.

The phone attributed to Zambra then rang Kenny twice, getting through to him the second time, setting off another chain of calls up to 9pm. Zambra's alleged phone rang Kenny at 9.02pm while Mr O'Brien and Hempenstall texted each other around the same time.

Hempenstall texted Mr O'Brien again at 9.05pm and phoned him a minute later.

The court has already heard that this was around the time the deceased entered Grumpy Jack's with Hempenstall and two other men.

After a delay, the calls continued through the evening.

The trial will resume on Tuesday.