Eye witness gives distressing testimony at murder trial

An eye witness has described for a murder trial how he saw a car being rammed and “shoved on top” of a man who was lying in the middle of a road, and screaming in pain.

Jimmy Fox was giving evidence on day 11 of the trial of 23-year-old Angelo O'Riordan, who denies murdering Aidan Myers in Dundalk nearly four years ago.

Mr Myers family became distressed and broke down in tears as the witness said he would never forget the sight of the car going over the man, who was shouting in pain. “To call it screams wasn't enough,” he said.

He said it was a red Opel Astra that went over the man, but that there was no one in the car and it was moving because it was being rammed from behind by a Mitsubishi.

Mr Fox said he thought the Mitsubishi's engine would break it was being revved so hard. He described an “unearthly roar” from the vehicle and a scraping of metal and general “pandemonium”.

It is the prosecution's case that O'Riordan was involved in a common design with a number of other men on December 12, 2006 when they attacked Mr Myers and his friend with a machete at Faughart shrine, outside Dundalk town.

Lawyers for the state allege that O'Riordan then got into a Mitsubishi space-wagon he had earlier hijacked, and rammed Mr Myers Opel Astra from behind, causing it to move forward and run over the 37-year-old.

He died in hospital a number of hours later following a series of heart attacks.

The prosecution says the alleged incident was a “random attack of gratuitous and extreme violence”.

O'Riordan has pleaded not guilty to the murder, and also denies a second charge of assault and a third of hijacking a Mitsubishi space-wagon in Dundalk town.

Another witness who was with Mr Fox that night, Aidan Murphy, said that when they first came on the scene, he saw Mr Myers and another man lying on the ground in front of a red Opel Astra, in “tight to the wheels”.

He said the two men were shouting and roaring. “My impression was that they were very badly hurt and that's why they were roaring and shouting”.

Three men were standing around the two men on the ground, and as the witness shone his headlights on the “melee”, he saw two men get into a Mitsubishi spacewagon, that was parked behind the Astra.

He said they started revving the engine very hard and ramming the Astra from behind. Mr Murphy said he could see smoke coming from the wheels.

After that, the Mitsubishi left the scene at speed. Both Mr Fox and Mr Murphy then saw Mr Myers lying on the ground, with most of his body underneath the Astra.

When they approached to help, Mr Myers asked to be lifted up and said he was very cold and couldn't breathe. The men were afraid to move him, but rang for an ambulance and told him help was coming. They said he was moaning and it was obvious he was in serious pain.

The case resumes in the morning before the jury of six men and six women.

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