herald

Monday 18 February 2019

DNA 'links man to gun in bloodstained plastic bag', trial told

Jonathan Harding previously pleaded guilty in the case
Jonathan Harding previously pleaded guilty in the case

DNA evidence links a man to both a revolver found inside a bloodstained bag and a car that had a "secret compartment" for ammunition, the Special Criminal Court has heard.

Sean Ruth (29), of Blacktrench, Rathangan, Co Kildare, is charged with unlawful possession of a .38 Special Calibre Rossi revolver, and the unlawful possession of a 9mm calibre round of ammunition.

He pleaded not guilty when the two counts were put to him.

Searched

Prosecuting counsel Paul Burns SC said gardai searched a premises at Greenogue Business Park, Rathcoole, Co Dublin, on January 24, 2017.

Two men had been seen driving away in a transit van, which was intercepted by gardai, said Mr Burns.

He said the occupants of the vehicle were Jonathan Harding and another man.

When gardai entered the premises at the industrial estate, they found a third man, James Walsh.

Harding (45), of Co Kildare, and Walsh (33), of Clondalkin, previously pleaded guilty at the Special Criminal Court to the possession of various firearms.

The court heard ammunition and firearms were found in the warehouse, including nine revolvers, four semi-automatic pistols and a submachine gun.

The lawyer said that amongst the firearms recovered was a Rossi revolver inside a bloodstained plastic bag, with a Glock pistol and ammunition.

The court heard that another bloodstained plastic bag was found, containing a disposable glove, with ammunition inside.

The lawyer said a Ford Focus, which had bloodstaining on the inside, was on the premises.

Compartment

Evidence will be heard that the DNA profile generated from Mr Ruth matched the DNA recovered from the revolver and the plastic bag in which it was found, Mr Burns said.

Mr Ruth's DNA also matched the profile generated from the glove inside the second plastic bag, he said.

Mr Burns said that the Ford Focus was searched and a secret compartment was found inside it, containing ammunition.

He said other evidence would establish that Mr Ruth was an associate of the men in the transit van.

The trial continues.

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