herald

Saturday 16 December 2017

Dundon death threats accuser is dating rapist

A WOMAN who alleges two men threatened to kill her after she ended a relationship with their youngest brother is in a relationship with a convicted gang rapist, a court heard.

The trial of Wayne (33) and John Dundon (30), who deny charges of threatening to kill four members of a Limerick family on dates between September 2010 and April 2011, continued in the Special Criminal Court yesterday.



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Mr Justice Paul Butler, Ms Justice Alison Lindsay and Judge Cormac Dunne heard that the defendants' brother, Ger Dundon broke up his prison cell in April 2011 after his former girlfriend, April Collins (24), ended their relationship. They have three children together.

Ms Collins and her mother, Alice, told gardai last year that the two Dundon brothers threatened to kill them in Limerick city.

Defence barrister for John Dundon, Brian McCartney told the court that after April Collins ended her relationship with Ger Dundon, she began a new relationship with Thomas O'Neill.

The court heard that O'Neill, who has 36 criminal convictions, led a crew of five men in a horrific gang rape of a woman in the Cratloe Woods, Co Clare in 2004 for which he received a 10-year sentence.

Mr McCartney said it was common knowledge that O'Neill was the ringleader of that offence and that he also threatened the life of a garda officer.

The court was told that O'Neill was singularly responsible for terrorising a family from their home in Limerick and various reports cited him as "dangerous, volatile, unmanageable, unruly and depraved".

Around the time April Collins made her statements against the two brothers to gardai, she was observed by one officer in a "loving embrace" with O'Neill. April Collins is currently pregnant with O'Neill's child.

Det Garda James Hourihan said the relationship between April Collins and Ger Dundon ended "acrimoniously". The officer said after breaking up his cell in Limerick prison, Ger Dundon was disciplined and moved to Portlaoise prison.

Det Hourihan said April Collins was currently before Limerick District Court for numerous road traffic matters and had not received any "special privileges" from gardai.

Video evidence was also shown to court of interviews conducted by Det Michael Murphy with Wayne Dundon after he was arrested last year. The court heard that Dundon felt he was detained in relation to a family dispute.

Wayne denied threatening Alice Collins and asked gardai if April was so terrified, why did she take nine months to make a statement. Wayne claimed that April's mother had a particular dislike of his brother.

The court also heard that from Padraig Dwyer, for Wayne Dundon, that a letter has been written to the Sunday World newspaper requesting photographs showing his client outside the Regional Maternity Hospital in Limerick on March 25 last. Wayne Dundon is alleged to have threatened to kill Alice, April and Gareth Collins on the same date at 84 Hyde Road, Limerick.

"If we get all the photographs, we might be able to advance the defence," Mr Dwyer said. The trial resumes next Tuesday.

hnews@herald.ie

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