herald

Friday 6 December 2019

Accused 'acting aggressively on night of shooting'

Rachel Kirwan, former girlfriend of Robert Lawlor
Rachel Kirwan, former girlfriend of Robert Lawlor

A man accused of attempting to murder a woman in her kitchen was dressed all in black and "agitated" and "aggressive" hours before the shooting that he denies, the Central Criminal Court has heard.

Det Sgt Noel Smith, of Coolock Garda Station, told the trial of Robert Lawlor (35) that he met the accused near his home on the evening of the shooting.

He said Mr Lawlor was "aggressive" towards gardai, and later that night when Sgt Smith discovered Mr Lawlor was no longer at home, he alerted the Armed Support Unit (ASU) and phoned Mr Lawlor's ex-girlfriend Rachel Kirwan.

Firearm

The trial also heard yesterday from Ms Kirwan, who repeatedly broke down as she was questioned about photos of her current boyfriend Derek Mitchell.

She told the court she could not answer the questions being put to her and that her "life is worth more than four photos".

Mr Lawlor, of The Rise, Laytown, Co Meath, has pleaded not guilty to the attempted murder of Fiona Mitchell at Moatview Avenue, Priorswood, Dublin, on May 26 last year.

The accused also pleaded not guilty to the charge of possession of a firearm with intent to endanger life at Moatview Avenue, Priorswood, on the same date.

He pleaded not guilty to making a threat to Rachel Kirwan at Donaghmede, Dublin, on a date unknown between January 1 and 31 last year, to kill or cause serious harm to Fiona Mitchell and her son Derek Mitchell.

He also pleaded not guilty to shooting a dog, endangering its health and welfare, at Moatview Avenue, on May 26 last year.

Sgt Smith told prosecuting counsel John O'Kelly yesterday that he was in the Laytown area with his colleague Gda Killian Leyden at about 10.25pm on May 25.

They met Mr Lawlor on the Strand Road near Inse Bay where Mr Lawlor was living with his mother. Mr Lawlor was dressed all in black, the witness said, with black leggings, black runners and a black jacket.

Concerns

Sgt Smith added: "He was quite erratic in his behaviour."

The witness went to Mr Lawlor's home and spoke to his mother, Cecila Dillon.

He formed the opinion that Ms Dillon had "some concerns about Robert's behaviour".

The trial continues in front of a jury and Mr Justice Paul McDermott.

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