herald

Thursday 23 January 2020

'Shooting witness is not reliable nor truthful', court told

Robert Lawlor has pleaded not guilty to a number of charges
Robert Lawlor has pleaded not guilty to a number of charges

A woman who said she could identify the man who tried to shoot her in her kitchen is "neither reliable nor truthful" a barrister told the Central Criminal Court yesterday.

Patrick McGrath SC told the jury that they should reject the evidence given by Fiona Mitchell and acquit his client, Robert Lawlor.

Prosecution counsel John O'Kelly SC told the jury that Ms Mitchell consistently stated that Mr Lawlor was the man she saw holding a gun in her back garden moments before shots were fired into her home.

Counsel also described a claim by the defence that Ms Mitchell's son was involved in serious organised crime as a "huge red herring" designed to deflect attention from the real evidence in the case.

Mr Lawlor (35), of The Rise, Laytown, Co Meath, has pleaded not guilty to the attempted murder of Fiona Mitchell at Moatview Avenue, Priorswood, Dublin, on May 26 last year.

Satisfied

He also denies possession of a firearm with intent to endanger life at the same time and place; and has pleaded not guilty to making a threat to Rachel Kirwan at Donaghmede, Dublin, between January 1 and 31, 2018, to kill or cause serious harm to Ms Mitchell and her son Derek Mitchell.

He also denies shooting a dog, endangering its health and welfare, at Moatview Avenue on May 26 last year.

Mr O'Kelly said that to convict Mr Lawlor of the most serious charge the jury must be satisfied beyond reasonable doubt that Mr Lawlor was the man who opened fire at the Mitchell home on May 26, 2018, and that when he did so he intended to kill Ms Mitchell.

Mr McGrath described Ms Mitchell's evidence as "neither reliable nor truthful".

He said it was clear Ms Kirwan, the accused's ex-girlfriend, had lied in her statement to gardai when she accused Mr Lawlor of not caring for their children, of being aggressive at their son's party and of making threats against Derek and Fiona Mitchell.

He also questioned why there was no DNA or fingerprint evidence found anywhere in the house.

The case continues today.

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