French man 'shot through window as he slept'

French man 'shot through window as he slept'

Lawyers for the State have told a jury that two men on trial for murdering a French man in Bray went to the apartment he shared with his girlfriend and shot him through the window as they slept in bed.

Opening the murder trial of Declan Sheridan and James O'Connor this morning, senior prosecuting counsel, Ms Una Ni Raifeartaigh SC, told the jury the motive for the killing is not "terribly apparent on the evidence" but it would be the prosecution's case that the two men were guilty of the murder of Charles Sinapayen.

The 33-year-old, who had lived in Bray for several years and was known to many as a busker in the town, was shot at his apartment at Richmond Hill, Fassaroe at around 1.20am on May 29, 2009.

His girlfriend slept through the shooting and gardaí who were alerted to the scene had to break down the door of the apartment and rouse her.

They found Mr Sinapayen bleeding and severely injured at the window and he was rushed to hospital. He never regained consciousness and died two days later.

Sheridan (aged 25) of Sugarloaf View, Sea Road, Kilcoole; and O’Connor (aged 27) of Kilbridge Grove in Bray have pleaded not guilty to murder.

Ms Ni Raifeartaigh said the whole incident was captured on CCTV, but due to the quality it "is not possible to say who the two men are, but one can see that two men approach the apartment and a shot is fired through the window."

She said a number of neighbours will describe for the jury a car they saw parked in the vicinity around the time of the shooting.

A man who was driving a car matching this description was arrested by gardaí the following day, and will be one of the key witnesses in the case.

Ms Ni Raifeartaigh said he will give evidence that he drove two men, "who we say are Sheridan and O'Connor, to Richmond Hill, the inference to be taken that they shot Charles Sinapayen."

The witness will say he was asked to collect O'Connor on the night of the killing, and another man got into the car with him.

He was instructed to drive to a garage where plastic gloves were bought. The witness was then told to drive to an address, which the prosecution says was Richmond Hill, where the two men left the car carrying objects.

He heard two shots, and the men returned to the car in an agitated state. He was then told to drive to another address, which the prosecution maintains is Ledwidge Crescent, where they again left the car carrying a number of items.

They returned without the items, the man dropped them off elsewhere and did not see them again that night.

Ms Ni Raifeartaigh said the jury will also hear from the family who lived at Ledwidge Crescent, which is adjoined to a cemetery. They will give evidence of hearing men close to their house in the early hours of the morning in question.

Later that morning, they noticed a number of items in their garden, including two tops and white Nike runners, one of which was bloodstained, and notified gardaí.

During follow-up searches of the adjoining graveyard, gardaí found two shotguns partially buried in two separate graves.

A clear plastic glove was also found in the cemetery and another in the garden.

.Mr Sinapayen's family, who do not speak English, were present at the Central Criminal Court this morning and have brought a translator with them for the duration of the trial.

The case is expected to take two weeks.

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