Murder trial hears of interrogational techniques used by garda

A jury in the trial of a 23 year-old man accused of murder has heard that a senior investigating garda was "stretching" when he told a central witness during questioning that he could be placed at the scene of the alleged murder.

Giving evidence for the third day in the Central Criminal Court, Detective Sergeant Brian Mohan told prosecuting counsel, during re-examination, he was "stretching" and using "an interrogational technique" when he told David Mulholland, a central witness in the case, a man matching his description could be placed at the scene of the killing.

He said: "Sometimes we might say things like that to put a person under pressure. It is an interrogational technique, we use it to suggest we have something we don’t."

Angelo O’Riordan (aged 23), of Point Road, Bellurgan, Dundalk has pleaded not guilty to the murder of Aidan Myers (aged 37), at Faughart Upper, near Dundalk, on December 13, 2006.

He has also pleaded not guilty to hijacking a car and assaulting another man in Dundalk earlier on the evening of the alleged murder.

Previously, the court had heard David Mulholland was arrested on suspicion of withholding information in relation to the death of Aidan Myers.

During questioning, Mr Mulholland made a voluntary statement to gardaí about a conversation he said he had with the accused the morning after the alleged murder.

Mr Mulholland gave evidence that the accused had told him he had been out hijacking cars and he had knocked a man down and could hear him screaming as he drove over him.

Det Sgt Mohan agreed with Ms Walley SC, prosecuting, that it was Mr Mulholland and not gardaí who had suggested the word "screaming" during the interviews.

John McCullagh, attached to the Forensic Science Laboratory, told the court he examined the clothing Aidan Myers had been wearing on the night he died.

He said: "The results of my examination provide strong support that the condition of the clothing is consistent with having been driven over by a vehicle."

The court also heard traces of red paint matching flakes of red paint taken from a car involved in the incident were found on the deceased’s clothing.

It is the prosecution’s case that Mr O’Riordan was involved in a common design with a group of other men who assaulted a man and hijacked a Mitsubishi space-wagon in Dundalk on the night of December 12.

They say that 20 minutes later at Faughart, outside Dundalk, the same group came across a red Opel Astra ramming it from behind and attacking the two male occupants with a machete.

It is alleged the accused then got into the hijacked Mitsubishi and drove it at the Astra causing it to move forward and run over the deceased, who was screaming as he was dragged along the ground by the car.

The trial continues on Monday before Mr Justice Patrick McCarthy and a jury of six men and six women.

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