Murder trial defence team accuses witness of lying

Defence lawyers for a man on trial for murder, assault and hijack, have argued that the prosecution's main witness has lied in his statements to gardaí and in his evidence to the court.

A senior Garda has been under cross-examination for two days at the Central Criminal Court, as the defence team seek to establish that the witness only told gardaí about an alleged “confession” the accused man made, after they informed him that he was at risk of being charged with the alleged murder.

Detective Sergeant Brian Mohan agreed under cross-examination that the witness, Daniel Mulholland, may have had the impression that he was under suspicion when he told them about a conversation he'd had with Angelo O'Riordan.

Detective Mohan said Mr Mulholland had been arrested on suspicion of withholding information about the death of Aidan Myers, and was being questioned about this when he told them about this talk with the accused man.

He said Mr Mulholland told them he met O'Riordan the day after Mr Myers' death, and that O'Riordan said he had been out hijacking cars, when there was a scuffle with two men and he ran one of them over.

O'Riordan (aged 23), of Point Road, Bellurgan in Dundalk, has denied murdering Mr Myers at Faughart, outside Dundalk town on December 13, 2006.

He is also pleading not guilty to a second charge of assault and a third of hijacking in Dundalk town on December 12, 2006.

Senior defence lawyer, Mr Padraig Dwyer SC, put it to Detective Mohan that gardaí had information that may have placed Mr Mulholland at the scene in December 2006.

Detective Mohan replied “I didn't see it that we had information placing him at the scene, we just had a photo matching his description.”

Mr Dwyer asked if it “would be fair to say that he felt he was under suspicion of involvement?”

The detective replied that “he would have that impression because of the questions he was asked.”

Mr Mulholland gave evidence in the trial earlier this week, and repeatedly denied that he was lying under cross-examination.

He told the jury he was giving evidence because he “just wanted the Myers family to know what I knew.”

It is the prosecution's case that O'Riordan was part of a common design with a number of other men on the night in question, and was involved in assaulting a man on Mary St in Dundalk town, with a machete.

Senior counsel for the prosecution, Ms Pauline Walley, says he was then involved in hijacking a Mitsubishi space-wagon.

She says this hijacked Mitsubishi was present in Faughart about 20 minutes later along with a BMW, which she says belonged to O'Riordan's brother, when they came across the car that Mr Myers was travelling in.

Ms Walley is arguing that the BMW rammed this car from behind and Mr Myers and his friend were dragged onto the road, where they were assaulted with a machete.

As they lay injured on the ground, she says O'Riordan got into the Mitsubishi and drove it at the Astra, causing it to move forward and run over Mr Myers, who was screaming and dragged along by the car.

The 37-year-old died in hospital around five hours later after suffering a number of heart attacks.

Ms Walley, described it as a “random attack of gratuitous and extreme violence.”

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

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