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Sunday 19 November 2017

'Full-time criminals' were 'assassinated' in stolen car, double murder trial told

Jason O’Driscoll (pictured) is accused of murdering Joseph Redmond
Jason O’Driscoll (pictured) is accused of murdering Joseph Redmond

The jury in a double murder trial will be asked to use circumstantial evidence to decide if the accused murdered two Dublin criminals who were "assassinated" in a car they had stolen.

The prosecutor was giving his opening speech to the Central Criminal Court yesterday in the trial of a 34-year-old Dublin man charged with committing the murders more than five years ago.

Jason O'Driscoll, of Richmond Avenue, Fairview, has pleaded not guilty to murdering Anthony Burnett and Joseph Redmond, who were found shot dead in Co Louth on March 7, 2012.

Alexander Owens, prosecuting, told the jury that this was a case involving circumstantial evidence.

Trigger

He suggested that the jurors should conclude that Mr O'Driscoll had participated in the murders "because there's only one reasonable inference to be drawn from the proved circumstances".

"If you're satisfied that there's no other reasonable explanation but that he's guilty, then the verdict is guilty," the prosecutor said.

He said it was not necessary to establish the precise role the accused had played or whether he had pulled the trigger.

"Anyone who attends the scene of a murder with a view to participating, who's there as an active participant, is as guilty of murder as the person who pulls the trigger," he said.

Mr Owens said there wouldn't be evidence in relation to "who precisely pulled the trigger" but that the prosecution aimed to satisfy the jury that Mr O'Driscoll was there and was a participant.

"Was the accused part of that murdering operation? They are the issues that you will be looking at," he added.

The jury had already heard that the accused was originally from Fairview but had lived in Newry for a while.

Both of the deceased were from Ballybough in the north inner city. Mr Owens said the pair were "full-time criminals" involved in car theft.

He said they stole a Volkswagen Golf from a home in Sandymount in the early hours of March 7 and approached a number of potential buyers.

It is the prosecution's case that they drove the car north that night with a view to selling it to the accused, and that at about 10.45pm they pulled into a layby at Ravensdale Park, a wooded area near the Border.

"The two men were shot in the head and the car was immediately set on fire," added Mr Owens.

Maps

"The prosecution case in relation to Mr O'Driscoll is, by inference, Mr O'Driscoll was one of the men who attended this assassination.

"You've to decide whether or not he's guilty of these offences.

"I would suggest that the only reasonable conclusion is that Jason O'Driscoll is guilty."

The jury was then shown scene photographs and maps of the areas involved.

The trial continues and is expected to last three to four weeks.

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