herald

Saturday 21 April 2018

Murder accused shaved his head and returned to shooting scene, court told

TRIAL: Prosecution says he left his mobile phone behind

A jury in the trial of a Wicklow man accused of fatally shooting a 27-year-old were told that four loud bangs and the sounds of people screaming were recorded on CCTV footage at the time of the killing.

Garret O'Brien (34) of Clover Hill, Bray has pleaded not guilty to murdering Seamus O'Byrne in the driveway of his home at Tymon Park North, Tallaght on March 13, 2009. Mr O'Byrne was shot in front of his partner and young son.

The father of two was shot five times in the back by a man wearing a dark, hooded tracksuit. The prosecution argues that O'Brien was the gunman, and was involved with a gang who had planned for two days to kill Mr O'Byrne at his home.

The jury were shown footage from a home security camera in Tymon Park North recorded at the time of the killing. Det Gda Michael McGrath told the court that while there was no sound on this version of the footage sound could be heard on the original.

He said: "At 8.15pm, the approximate time of the murder, you can hear three bangs and then a pause and then another bang and what appears to be people screaming.''

A group of people could be seen running out of the estate and what appeared to be a light coloured Volkswagen Passat was seen driving off.



speed

Previously in the trial a number of witnesses gave evidence that they saw the gunman jump into a Volkswagen Passat, before it drove off at speed.

The jury were also shown footage from the car park at the rear of the Red Cow Moran Hotel recorded half an hour after the murder.

A white Nissan Micra, which had been left in the car park before the shooting, was seen exiting at speed. O'Brien was recorded on CCTV four and half hours after the killing filling a white Nissan Micra with petrol at an Esso station in Rathmines.

Det McGrath identified the man as O'Brien and noted his shaven head and clothing; which was different to that he had been wearing in footage recorded before the killing.

It is the prosecution's case that after the shooting O'Brien returned to Bray and shaved his head before returning to Tallaght in a white Nissan Micra to try to retrieve his mobile phone which they allege he left at the scene.

Earlier, the jury saw CCTV footage from a Spar at Ballymount which showed O'Brien buy two cans of Red Bull along with other items 90 minutes before the shooting.

Previously, a garda witness gave evidence that a can of Red Bull found at the scene had a batch serial number which matched several cans sold at the Spar shop in Ballymount,

Under cross-examination by counsel for the defence Feargal Kavanagh, Det McGrath accepted that the Red Bull can found at the scene contained no fingerprint or DNA evidence to link it to O'Brien.

The trial continues.

hnews@herald.ie

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