Saturday 17 August 2019

'Pub gun victim was sitting with accused'

Murder trial: Witness saw Carroll drinking with alleged killer

JOHN 'Champagne' Carroll was sitting with one of his alleged killers before he was shot, the Central Criminal Court has heard.

Kenneth Dunne told the jury at the Grumpy Jacks' murder trial that he was on the phone outside the pub in The Coombe on the night of the killing when he heard bangs.

When he went inside he saw a man lying on the floor. He recognised him as Mr Carroll, a man he had met a few times and whose hand he had shaken earlier in the night, the court heard.

When asked who Mr Carroll had been sitting with in the pub, he replied: "Hempo." He said he didn't know Hempo's first name at the time, but later agreed that he was referring to Bernard Hempenstall, one of the accused.

Hempenstall (26), from Park Terrace in The Coombe, has pleaded not guilty to murdering John Carroll, as have three other men, Christopher Zambra (35) of Galtymore Road, Drimnagh; Damien Johnston (27) of Cashel Avenue, Crumlin; and Peter Kenny (28) of McCarthy's Terrace, Rialto.

Mr Dunne was one of two people who were at the pub on the night of the killing, February 18, 2009, to give evidence yesterday. Both were outside when the shooting took place.

Suki Garvey told the court she was also outside the pub that night. She saw a motorbike arrive with two people on it. It stopped at the pub and then continued on, she said.

Minutes later, when on her way home, she saw it arrive again from the same direction.

The witness evidence followed dramatic CCTV footage which was shown at the trial.

A number of people ran out of the courtroom, one of them shrieking, after CCTV footage of the killing was shown on large screens.

The jury viewed footage from outside the pub, which showed a motorbike arriving, a person getting off and the motorbike moving away.

Footage from inside the pub then showed a man in a helmet walk in the door where he stood shooting. Customers were seen running from the area. The footage lasted seconds.

As soon as the man in the helmet was seen raising his arm, a woman in the courtroom cried out and ran from the room with a number of people trying to console her.

The prosecution's case is that Peter Kenny was the gunman and Damien Johnston was the motorbike driver. In his opening speech, prosecutor Patrick Gageby described Christopher Zambra as the brains behind the crime and said that Bernard Hempenstall was involved in the organisation.

The trial before Mr Justice Barry White and a jury of eight men and four women is expected to last six weeks.


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