Garda found meat cleavers in car, murder trial hears

A Garda forensic expert has told the trial of a man accused of murder, assault and hijacking, that he found a meat cleavers in a burnt out car which was allegedly involved in the events.

Detective Garda Michael O'Driscoll was giving evidence on day seven of the trial of Angelo O'Riordan, who denies murdering 37-year-old Aidan Myers in Dundalk in December 2006.

The 23-year-old, of Point Road, Bellurgan in Dundalk, has also pleaded not guilty to a second charge of assault and a third charge of hijacking a Mitsubishi space-wagon.

Detective O'Driscoll told the jury that he examined a burnt out BMW, which had been found in Drogheda the day after Mr Myers death, and he found a 40cm long meat cleavers in the front passenger seat.

He said he also examined the red Opel Astra Mr Myers was traveling in on the night of December 12. Detective O'Driscoll said there was earth and grass embedded in the front bumper, consistent with the car having struck a ditch with force.

The top front of the passenger's door was slightly pulled out, which indicated an attempt to open the door by pulling down on the frame.

He said there was no discernible damage to the back bumper, but that the ball hitch on the car was capable of absorbing a lot of impact, and the cover of the hitch had become detached.

It's the prosecution's case that O'Riordan's brother owned a dark green BMW in December 2006, and that O'Riordan and a number of other men were together in this car at 11pm on the night in question.

It says O'Riordan was involved in a common design with other men, when they allegedly assaulted a man with a machete in Dundalk town. The man required 45 stitches to his arm after the attack.

The prosecution argues O'Riordan was then involved in hijacking a Mitsubishi space wagon and that both the Mitsubishi and the BMW were present at Faughart, outside Dundalk, at about 11.20pm when they came across a red Opel Astra, in which Mr Myers was a passenger. It alleges that the Astra was rammed from behind by the BMW.

Senior prosecuting counsel, Ms Pauline Walley SC, has told the jury that Mr Myers and his companion were then dragged from their car and assaulted with a machete-type blade. She said that O'Riordan got into the hijacked Mitsubishi and drove it at the Astra, causing it to move forward and run over Mr Myers.

He died around four hours later in hospital after suffering a series of heart attacks.

The jury has also heard evidence from the central witness in the case, Daniel Mulholland (aged 23), who said that the following day, O'Riordan told him that he had been out hijacking cars when “something went wrong” and he ended up running over a man.

Mr Mulholland said O'Riordan also said that his brother had gone to Drogheda to burn out the car.

Brian Smith, who lived in Piperstown, outside Drogheda in 2006, described seeing a car on fire in the woods on the afternoon of December 13.

He said he could not make out the type of car, but he could see dark green paint on its door. The next day, he said he saw a Honda Civic with three men inside close to the site of the burning car.

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

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