Fingerprint found on registration certificate of car used in fatal shooting

The fingerprint of a man accused of IRA membership was found on the registration certificate of the car used in the fatal shooting of Northern Irish prison officer David Black, the Special Criminal Court has heard today.

The prosecution allege that Vincent Banks (47) purchased the car.

Mr Black, a 52-year-old father of two, was shot dead on November 1, 2012. He was driving to work at Maghaberry prison when the incident occurred.

David Black

Mr Banks, of Smithfield Gate Apartments in Dublin 7 has pleaded not guilty to membership of an unlawful organisation styling itself the Irish Republican Army, otherwise Oglaigh na hEireann, otherwise the IRA on December 18, 2012.

Detective Inspector Anthony Lenehan, of the Special Detective Unit (SDU), told prosecuting counsel John Byrne BL today that the Toyota Camry used in the shooting was registered to a man with the name Paul McCann at an address on Rathgar Road in Rathmines.

The detective said that he spoke to the landlord, who told him there was no tenant with that name, but that the premises had received a letter addressed to a man of that name.

The court heard that the letter contained a new vehicle registration certificate for the Camry.

Vincent Banks

Further inquiries, Detective Inspector Lenehan said, revealed that the car had been purchased from the previous owner in Tallaght on October 10 and the buyer had given the name Paul McCann.

The vendor told detectives that the buyer had signed the vehicle registration certificate with his left hand but had placed his right hand on the document while signing it.

The court heard that a fingerprint was later found on the document.

Detective Garda Colm Lawlor, of the fingerprint section of the Garda Technical Bureau, told Paul Greene SC, prosecuting, that he examined the certificate.

The court heard that he was in "no doubt" a finger-mark on the document had been made by Mr Banks' right thumb.

The trial continues in front of Ms Justice Isobel Kennedy, presiding, sitting with Judge Gerard Griffin and Judge Gerard Haughton.

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