Bullet was fired from gun found in home of murder accused's grandparents, court hears

The trial of a Limerick man accused of murder has heard evidence that a bullet recovered from the victim’s chest was fired from the weapon which was recovered from the home of the accused’s grandparents.

Greg Crawford (aged 24) of St Munchin’s Street, St Mary’s Park in Limerick, denies murdering Gareth Brosnan-Grant (aged 25) outside his home at St Ita’s Street, St Mary’s Park in Limerick on October 8, 2007.

Yesterday, the jury at the Central Criminal Court heard details of tests carried out on an Ithaca handgun which was recovered from the rear garden of Greg Crawford’s grandparents’ house at St Munchin’s Street on the day after the shooting.

Detective Garda Jeremiah Moloney, who is attached to the ballistics section of the Garda Technical Bureau, told Mr Thomas Creed SC for the prosecution that he had carried out tests using the gun, a number of test fire bullets and the bullet taken from the body of Gareth Brosnan-Grant.

The court heard the fired bullets and gun were then handed to Detective Garda Mark Collander who carried out an examination under microscope.

Det Garda Collander told the six men and six women of the jury that he had formed the opinion that the test fire bullets and the bullet taken from Gareth Brosnan-Grant’s chest were discharged from the same firearm, and that the bullet found in the victim’s body was discharged from the weapon found at 97 St Munchin’s Street.

Under cross-examination, the witness agreed with Mr Hugh Hartnett SC for the defence that there will always be dissimilarities between the marks on bullets fired from the same weapon.

The court also heard evidence from Garda Martin Hennessy who had discovered the weapon on the premises on the afternoon after the shooting.

Cross-examined by Mr Hartnett, Garda Hennessy agreed that he had picked up the gun and removed the glove in which it was wrapped in order to ascertain that it was in fact a gun.

The witness said he had then placed the gun and glove back on the ground and had alerted his sergeant who arranged for them to be photographed before being removed.

Garda Hennessy agreed he had later given a statement in which he had not mentioned handling the gun.

Mr Hartnett put it to him: “on the last opportunity you agreed it was unfortunate omission from your statement that you had failed to mention the fact that you interfered with the scene”.

Garda Hennessy responded: “I don’t believe I interfered with the scene”.

The jury was also shown footage from the Shell service station on Corbally Road in Limerick, taken on the night of October 8, 2007.

The video showed a young man wearing a camouflage top, dark tracksuit bottoms, white runners and a gold chain, entering the shop and walking towards the rear before returning to the exit.

Garda Padraig Burke, who was a community garda in the area in October 2007, told the court he could identify the man in the video as Greg Crawford.

The court also heard evidence of the blood samples and swabs taken from the accused while he was in garda custody. A firearms residue kit was also used to test his hands and face for the small metallic particles which are emitted from a weapon when it is fired.

The kit was handed to Mr Liam Fleurie, who was at the time a forensic scientist attached to the Forensic Science Laboratory at the Department of Justice.

Giving evidence in court yesterday, Mr Fleury agreed with Mr Hartnett that the swabs which had been used on Mr Crawford had not had their protective plastic covers removed prior to being used.

The witness agreed with Mr Hartnett’s suggestion that this was “an error”.

Questioned by Mr Creed, Mr Fleury agreed that there would be no traces of firearm residue left on a person who had showered.

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