| 15.1°C Dublin

Shot dad pleaded with gunman to let him live

A FATHER-OF-TWO shot dead during a confrontation near his home pleaded with the gunman to put his shotgun away and go home before shots were fired.

Murder accused Robert Egan (27) is on trial at the Central Criminal Court charged with shooting Wayne Doherty dead during a confrontation sparked by a fight at a Christening.

Egan, of Dromheath Avenue, Mulhuddart, has pleaded not guilty to the murder of Mr Doherty at Oakview Way, Harts-town, on July 5, 2009.

He pleaded guilty to the unlawful possession of a shotgun at the same address.



TRIGGER

Mr Doherty (32) was shot outside his parents' home after he attempted to stop a dispute involving his friends and a group of men late on the night of July 4, 2009.

Paul Coffey, prosecuting, told the jury that they would hear how Egan told gardai that he brought a sawn-off shotgun to the scene in order to shoot Robert Hughes -- a friend of the deceased -- in the legs.

Mr Coffey said that the accused man told gardai in interview that he was holding the shotgun when it discharged but denied any intention of killing or causing harm to Mr Doherty.

He told officers that the weapon discharged when the deceased hit him twice on the head with a hammer.

He said Egan admitted that his finger was on the trigger, but told gardai that the fatal shot occurred when Mr Doherty pulled the weapon toward himself and the gun accidentally discharged.

Mr Coffey told the jury that the "real issue" for their consideration was the state of the mind of the accused at the time of the shooting. He said that they would have to decide whether the shotgun was discharged deliberately or accidentally, and whether the accused did so with the intention of causing serious injury or death.

He told the jury that if they come to the view that the shooting was deliberate, and considered that only intention of the accused was to kill or cause serious injury, they must convict him of murder.

Michael O'Higgins, defending, told the jury that his client wished to make admissions, among them that Wayne Doherty died of a fatal injury inflicted by a single shotgun blast and that the shotgun was discharged by the accused man.

Mr Coffey told the jury that they would hear how there was a history of "bad relations".

He said the accused man and his friend Andrew Jameson went to a Christening at a pub. Mr Doherty and his neighbour Robert Hughes were also there.



GLASS

Mr Coffey said that an altercation developed between Mr Hughes and Mr Jameson in the men's toilets, which spilled out in to the car park.

Mr Jameson sustained a nose injury, while a pint glass was thrown at Robert Hughes as the accused man left the scene in a silver Volkswagen Passat.

Mr Coffey said the jury will hear how, having left the scene, Mr Hughes received a telephone call from Egan informing him that his mother's house would be targeted unless he agreed to come to a "straightener" to resolve the dispute.

The shooting took place at the meeting later that evening. The trial continues.

hnews@herald.ie