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Friday 22 September 2017

Murder accused's DNA 'on wig and glove next to gun'

Keith Walker
Keith Walker

DNA matching a man accused of murder was found on a glove and a wig left next to the submachine gun allegedly used to kill Keith Walker, a court has been told.

Mr Walker (36) was shot 18 times in the car park of the Blanchardstown Racing Pigeon Club in Shelerin Road, Clonsilla, on June 12, 2015 by someone in women's clothing.

Christopher McDonald (34), from the East Wall area of Dublin, has denied murder.

The jury at the Central Criminal Court previously heard how Det Sgt Paul Tallon found a glove, a wig, a bag, an earplug and a sub-machine gun in a laneway at Sheepmoor Grove, Blanchardstown, after receiving a tip-off from a local resident.

Det Gda David O'Leary has also told the jury that he tested the gun and was satisfied it was the one used to shoot Mr Walker.

Dr Edward Connolly, of Forensic Science Ireland, tested the items, which were found in a laneway four days after Mr Walker was killed.

He told Denis Vaughan Buckley, prosecuting, that he found DNA matching that of the accused's on the clear plastic glove and the wig.

The chances of finding a person unrelated to Mr McDonald with the same profile would be considerably less than one in one thousand million, he said.

DNA found on the bag and on the gun were not suitable for interpretation, while the earplug had a DNA profile that was not a match to Mr McDonald's.

Dr Thomas Hannigan, also of Forensic Science Ireland, said he examined the wig, glove and other items for firearms residue.

He said the wig and glove tested positive for residue and it was similar to that found on items at the scene of the shooting. He concluded that this provided strong support that the glove and wig were worn by the shooter.

However, he did not find any firearms residue on swabs taken from Mr McDonald.

He said this could be because Mr McDonald was not the shooter; Mr McDonald was the shooter but his hands and face were covered; or the residue was lost in the 12 hours between the shooting and when the samples were taken.

He added that these were not the only possibilities.

Dr Hannigan said face swabs taken from the accused, which gardai believed to be make-up, were "insufficient for analysis".

During cross-examination, Dr Hannigan agreed with Bernard Condon, defending, that the science labs have precautions in place to prevent contamination of items that are being analysed.

Statements

Supt Colm Murphy agreed with Mr Condon that a woman in the Whitestown area of Blanchardstown had told gardai that a man in his early- 20s called at her house and asked her to dress him up as a woman.

He said he was also aware of a Dublin Bus driver who told gardai that he had seen a number of men on his bus dressed as women.

Supt Murphy said these were among more than 400 statements taken by gardai investigating the murder of Mr Walker.

The trial continues today in front of Mr Justice Patrick McCarthy and a jury of six men and six women.

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