Tuesday 25 September 2018

Front-seat passenger fled as dad shot dead in front of daughter

John Wilson
John Wilson

The passenger in a car driven by a man shot dead in front of his daughter admitted to a murder trial jury that he "ran" when another car pulled up beside him.

Keith O'Neill (39), from Lissadell Drive, Drimnagh in Dublin, has pleaded not guilty to murdering John Wilson on September 28, 2012, at his home on Cloverhill Road, Ballyfermot, Dublin 10.

Taking to the stand yesterday Leslie Herbert confirmed with the prosecution that he was in the passenger seat of John Wilson's car with the deceased and his seven-year-old girl when another car pulled up.

"John was driving the car. I was in passenger seat," he said.

READ MORE: Girl (7) describes the day a gunman shot her dad dead

When asked if they had pulled up outside Mr Wilson's house, he replied: "He parked next door to it."

"A car rolled up and I jumped out and ran," he said.

"I seen a car - I seen a couple of people in it - I didn't see anybody's face. When I seen a car rolling up, my natural instinct was to run," said Mr Herbert.

"It went past our car and stopped. I ran down Cloverhill Road. I heard a couple of bangs."

When asked if he had seen Mr Wilson's daughter, he replied "she was on the footpath - I heard her saying 'me da'".

Mr Herbert told the court that he had tried to resuscitate Mr Wilson.

Under cross-examination by the defence, Mr Herbert confirmed that in a statement he made to gardai on September 29, 2012, he said that the passenger in the car was "a tall man all in black".


Garda Denis Sweetman pointed out to the prosecution a figure emerging in a dark jacket in the CCTV footage and smoke appearing from the left hand side of the screen.

Detective Garda Mark Collander from the ballistics section described a 0.357 Ruger 100 revolver that was retrieved from a Volkswagen Passat.

Det Collander said: "The vehicle had been burnt out I could get a strong smell of petrol or accelerant.

"I retrieved a 0.357 Ruger 100 revolver. The same gun was showing six cylinders discharged."

The court heard a burnt striped garment and black gloves were also recovered.

Taking to the stand, William McCormack told the prosecution that on September 26 he discovered his house in Cellbridge, Co Kildare, had been broken into and his car, which was a Volkswagon Passat, had been stolen.

The jury was shown CCTV footage of a man identified as Keith O'Neill entering and leaving Borza cafe on the Ballyfermot Road on September 28, 2012.

The trial, continues before Mr Justice Tony Hunt and a jury of five women and seven men.

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