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No DNA found to link accused to Donohoe murder scene - expert

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Aaron Brady is charged with murder of Adrian Donohoe

Aaron Brady is charged with murder of Adrian Donohoe

Aaron Brady is charged with murder of Adrian Donohoe

The DNA of the man accused of murdering Adrian Donohoe was not found at the scene where the detective garda was shot dead, a court has heard.

The trial of Aaron Brady (28) yesterday heard evidence from a DNA expert based at Forensic Science Ireland who tested a number of items recovered at Lordship Credit Union.

Dr Edward Connolly said that swabs were taken from cars and items at the scene of the shooting - including an unmarked Toyota Avensis patrol car, a Mazda, a hammer found in this vehicle, a Nissan Micra, a handbag, car keys, cigarette butts and chewing gum.

Dr Connolly said that a number of full and partial DNA profiles were recovered from these items which matched elimination samples provided to him by members of An Garda Siochana, or other witnesses at the scene.

He also said that three complete DNA profiles of unknown males were recovered from inside the driver door of the unmarked Toyota garda car, a piece of chewing gum and a cigarette butt.

These samples, the court heard, were added to the DNA database system but no matches were found.

Dr Connolly said he also analysed items recovered from a burnt-out car, which the court previously heard was a Volkswagen Passat, discovered at Cumsons Road in south Armagh two days after the murder. The jury was told this included a shotgun cartridge, Mary Black and Lady Gaga CDs, crisp packets, a plastic bag and a cable tie. Dr Connolly said the items were smoke damaged and that no full DNA profile was recovered.

Under cross-examination the witness agreed with defence counsel Fiona Murphy SC that Aaron Brady's DNA profile did not match samples taken from any of the items tested by Dr Connolly.

Analysed

A barn shed adjacent to Lordship credit union was also analysed as well as the outside front door of a house in Clogherhead, Co Louth, where a burglary took place on January 23 resulting in a Volkswagen Passat being stolen, the court heard.

No DNA profiles were obtained from either of these locations.

The trial continues this morning at the Central Criminal Court before Justice Michael White and the jury of eight men and seven women. Aaron Brady is charged with the murder of Detective Garda Adrian Donohoe, who was then a member of An Garda Siochana acting in the course of his duty, at the Lordship Credit Union in Bellurgan, Co Louth, on January 25, 2013.

Mr Brady is also charged with the robbery of approximately €7,000 in cash and assorted cheques from Pat Bellew at the same location on the same date.

He has pleaded not guilty to both charges.

Yesterday morning Det Gda Seamus O'Donnell, of the Ballistic Section in the Garda Technical Bureau, continued giving evidence.

He had previously told the 15-person jury that he carried out tests to determine the distance Det Gda Donohoe (41) was shot from, and that these tests established the range being between 6-7ft.

In cross-examination by Fiona Murphy SC, the witness agreed that a choke device can be applied to a shotgun that keeps the pellets grouped together longer after discharge and affect the range.