Double murder accused says he attempted suicide in garda custody

Double murder accused says he attempted suicide in garda custody

A Dublin father accused of murdering two men told gardaí he had tried to kill himself because of the pressure he was under while in custody.

Gary Howard (aged 24), of Emerald Street, Dublin 1 has pleaded not guilty at the Central Criminal Court to murdering Patrick Mooney (aged 58) and Brendan Molyneaux (aged 46) on January 10, 2010.

The jury today watched video extracts of Howard being questioned by gardaí, during which he pointed to marks on his neck where he said he had attempted suicide because of the “lousy things” certain gardaí had been saying to him.

Patrick Mooney and Brendan Molyneaux, both family friends of Mr Howard’s, were found shot dead in Mr Mooney’s flat at Pearse House, Hanover Street in Dublin city centre at around 7pm on Sunday, January 10, 2010.

Howard was arrested that night and held for questioning for more than five days at Kevin Street garda station, initially denying having carried out the killings, then admitting it, before finally retracting his earlier admission.

His confession came three days into his period of detention, when sobbing and shaking uncontrollably, Howard told gardaí how some months earlier he had been threatened with a gun in his mouth and told he would be killed if he did not murder Brendan Molyneaux.

He told gardaí he could not reveal who had threatened him, claiming his family “would all be wiped out” if he gave a name.

Howard also told gardaí the route he had taken by bicycle on the night of the double murders, from Guild Street north of the River Liffey, onto Sir John Rogerson’s Quay, past Ferryman’s Crossing where he discarded the bicycle, up Windmill Lane, onto Hanover Street and into the flat at 4G, Pearse House where the shootings had taken place.

He described the route he had taken after the shootings, travelling by foot around the city centre before getting a taxi from Amiens Street back to his girlfriend’s house in Finglas where he was arrested later that night.

Gary Howard identified himself in CCTV footage from numerous points along this route, but later told gardaí that his confession has been “all lies” and that he had only said what gardaí wanted him to say.

He said certain gardaí has been putting him under pressure and saying “bad things” about his family off camera because “they knew they’d lose their jobs” if it were to be recorded, claiming “they haven’t got the balls to say it on camera”.

He said he hadn’t been in the “right state of mind” when he had confessed, and that anyone who had experienced what he had been put through by certain guards would have done the same “unless they were made of steel and were not human”.

Detective Sargeant Adrian Whitelaw, a senior member of the investigating team who took part in 11 out of 24 interviews with Gary Howard, absolutely denied putting any pressure on the accused either on or off camera.

The trial continues at the Central Criminal Court before Mr Justice Paul Carney and a jury of six men and six women.

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