Jury sent home in Dublin murder trial

The jury are deliberating in the trial of a Dublin man accused of a double murder in the city.

Gary Howard (aged 24) of Emerald Street in the inner city has pleaded not guilty to murdering Patrick Mooney (aged 58) and Brendan Molyneux (aged 46) on January 10, 2010.

The men, who were family friends, were found shot dead that Sunday evening in Mr Mooney’s flat at Pearse House, Hanover Street, Dublin.

Mr Howard was arrested that night and detained at Kevin Street garda station for five days.

The jury of six women and five men, who have been deliberating for an hour, asked the judge to go home for the evening.

They will resume their deliberations tomorrow morning, presided over by Mr Justice Paul Carney.

Mr Justice Carney told the jury there were two verdicts they could bring in – "guilty" or "not guilty".

He said that both the prosecution and defence are in agreement that “it is murder or nothing” and the issue of manslaughter does not arise.

The trial heard that Mr Howard initially denied having carried out the killings but then admitted to them.

He then attempted suicide and retracted his admissions, before making them again and retracting a final time.

The jury had earlier heard that no firearms residue was found on the accused; however residue was found on both his uncle and father, who were at the scene.

The trial heard that Mr Howard later told gardaí that his confession had been "all lies” and that he had said what gardaí wanted him to say.

Mr Justice Carney told the jury that duress is not capable of amounting to a defence under our law in relation to murder.

He said the prosecution relies on the confession made by the accused in the garda station but told the jury they must have regard to how it came about.

The judge told them if they were satisfied as to the truth of the confession then they were “free to act upon it”.

Mr Sean Gillian SC defending told the jury in his closing speech that Mr Howard had left Pearse House before the killing took place.

He said there was a gap in times between CCTV footage shown during the trial and the speaking clock.

“Gary Howard makes his getaway on a bicycle approximately four minutes before anyone is dead, ” said Mr Gillane.

“I suggest to you he is the first person make a getaway on a bicycle before a crime was committed”, he said.

“You are the one chance I have to present Mr Howard’s position and he only gets one chance to do it,” he added.

The trial continues.

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