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Sunday 27 May 2018

Getaway car burnt out three days after killing, Thompson trial is told

Accused Freddie Thompson
Accused Freddie Thompson

A car used as the ultimate getaway vehicle in the murder of David Douglas was set alight in a seaside car park three days after the killing, a murder trial has heard.

Freddie Thompson (37) is not alleged to have been the gunman, but he is alleged to have provided logistical support in the shooting.

"There was one hand on the gun at the time but there were many fingers on the trigger," said prosecutor Sean Gillane SC in his opening speech.

"It is the prosecution case that one of those belonged to the accused."

Mr Thompson, of Loreto Road, Maryland, Dublin 8, has denied the murder of Mr Douglas (55), who was shot six times at his partner's shop on Bridgefoot Street, Dublin 8, on July 1, 2016.

Spotter

It is the State's case that Mr Thompson provided logistical support in the planning and execution of a murder and was the driver of one of two "spotter" vehicles.

Gardai have alleged that four vehicles were used in the murder: a silver Mercedes - which was the "murder vehicle" - a silver Suzuki Swift, a blue Mitsubishi Mirage and a silver Ford Fiesta.

The Mercedes was found burnt out at Spitalfields shortly after the killing, and it is alleged that the Suzuki was the ultimate getaway vehicle.

Yesterday, the Special Criminal Court heard from Deivydas Kukanavza, who said that he and his then girlfriend were parked in the car park at Strand Road, Dublin 4, on July 4, 2016.

Mr Kukanavza said that at around 11.25pm he saw a Mitsubishi car come into the car park and hit the back of a silver car, previously identified to the court as a Suzuki Swift, parked behind his girlfriend's car.

Murder victim David Daithi Douglas
Murder victim David Daithi Douglas

The silver car, which had been stolen in June 2016, was hit from behind three times.

Mr Kukanavza said he then saw a man get out of the Mitsubishi. He was holding a petrol can and poured it around the silver car.

Mr Kukanavza said he asked the man what he was doing but he did not answer, and he set the car alight.

There were two other men in the Mitsubishi, and the third man got back into the car and the Mitsubishi drove away, Mr Kukanavza said.

Iveta Sutkote, Mr Kukanavza's then girlfriend, said she was sitting in her car facing the beach when another car, a Mitsubishi, hit a silver car parked behind her.

Ms Sutkote said it appeared as if the Mitsubishi was trying to smash the parked car. She said a man then got out and ran toward the parked car and poured petrol around it.

She asked him, "what are you doing?", but he ignored her and set the silver car alight.

He jumped back into the Mitsubishi and the car drove away.

Earlier this week, the Special Criminal Court heard that Mr Thompson's fingerprints were found on the rear-view mirrors of two cars which were allegedly used as "spotter vehicles" in the murder of Mr Douglas.

Mr Thompson's DNA was also found on an inhaler visible on the floor of one of the cars.

The trial continues before Mr Justice Tony Hunt, presiding, with Judge Gerard Griffin and Judge Flann Brennan.

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