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Thursday 20 September 2018

'Burnt bodies fused together', garda tells double murder trial

Accused man Jason O’Driscoll
Accused man Jason O’Driscoll

A detective sergeant has described finding two bodies fused together in a burnt-out car in Louth six years ago.

Det Sgt Shane Curran was giving evidence to the Central Criminal Court in the trial of a 34-year-old Dubliner charged with murdering two men, who the prosecutor described as "small-time criminals".

Jason O'Driscoll, of Richmond Avenue, Fairview, is accused of murdering fellow Dubliners Anthony Burnett (31) and Joseph Redmond (25) on March 7, 2012, in Co Louth.

He has pleaded not guilty to both charges and the jury will be asked to use circumstantial evidence to convict him.

Det Sgt Curran, of the Garda Ballistics Section, testified that he was called to a car park in Ravensdale Park, near Dundalk.

He told the court he saw a burnt-out car containing the badly burnt remains of two adult males.

"The body in the driver seat was slumped out the door; the head was slumped out the door," Det Sgt Curran said.

"The body in the passenger seat was slumped across this body, partially fused."

He said he and his colleagues carefully separated the bodies and, with no identification for them, they assigned 'Body A' to the passenger's remains and 'Body B' to the driver's.

Det Sgt Curran also attended the post-mortem examinations on both bodies. He said two badly damaged bullets were recovered from the head area of Body A. They were fragmented into seven pieces.

He added that two damaged bullets of the same calibre were also recovered from the head area of Body B, in four pieces.

The jury also heard that the two bodies were later identified using DNA analysis on their muscle samples.

Forensic scientist Dr Emily Jordan said she extracted DNA profiles from samples taken from both bodies.

Mother

She compared them with DNA reference samples from Mr Redmond's mother, Pauline Doran, and from Mr Burnett's mother, Marie Burnett.

She said her findings were "fully consistent" with Body A being the biological son of Marie Burnett and Body B being the biological son of Pauline Doran.

The trial continues today before Mr Justice Michael White and a jury of five women and seven men.

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