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Friday 21 September 2018

Gun victims 'had gone to sell a Golf to murder accused', court hears

Anthony Burnett
Anthony Burnett

The partner of one of two men found shot dead in a burnt-out car has said the pair left her home that night to sell a car to the man accused of murdering them.

Crystal Jackson's statement was read to the Central Criminal Court yesterday in the trial of a Dubliner charged with murdering the two men, who the prosecutor has described as "small-time criminals".

Jason O'Driscoll (35), 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.

Alexander Owens SC, prosecuting, read out the statement of Ms Jackson, who had been Mr Redmond's partner for six years.

She said that he had been trying to sell a black 2011 VW Golf on the day that he was killed. She said he mentioned it again after dinner, as they smoked a joint.

"After a while he just said: 'I'll text Jay to see if he's looking for a car'. I knew he was talking about Jay O'Driscoll," she said.

"I don't know Jay personally. I know of him."

She said her partner's phone rang about 20 minutes later.

"I was sitting in front of Joe when he was talking to Jay O'Driscoll," she said.

Worrying

"I couldn't hear what Jay O'Driscoll was saying but I could hear what Joe was saying. Joe asked him if he wanted to buy a black Golf."

Dubliner Jason O'Driscoll
Dubliner Jason O'Driscoll

She said Mr O'Driscoll asked "how much" and Mr Redmond had said €1,000.

"He said he wouldn't give that and Joe asked how much he would give," she added.

"Jay said €700 so Joe said he would ask 'Freaky', Anthony Burnett."

She said Mr Burnett said yes and Mr Redmond then told the accused they would take seven hundred if he came to them.

"Whatever Jay said, Joe said: 'F**k it, I've a full tank of juice and I'll drive'," she added.

She said Mr Burnett arrived about 10 minutes later.

"Freaky made a phone call to see if Jay could come up and collect the car but Jay said that he couldn't," she said.

She said Mr Redmond and Mr Burnett were worrying about how they would get back.

"Then they went," she said. "It was about 8.30pm."

The jury had already heard from Mr Redmond's sister, Anita Doran, who was also in the house when he and Mr Burnett left that evening.

Under cross-examination by Vincent Heneghan SC, defending, she agreed that Ms Jackson had previously been in a relationship with another man.

However, Mr Redmond had begun a relationship with her after her partner was sent to prison. This had led to difficulties for her brother, she agreed.

"He got a bad beating," she said. "It was over him being with Crystal on [the other man]… because [the other man] had said: 'I'll get you'."

She also agreed gardai had come to their home about 18 months before her brother's death and had told him that there was a threat to his life.

The trial has now gone into legal argument and the jury will return to court on Monday.

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