WAYNE DUNDON, a leading figure in the McCarthy Dundon gang, was jailed for 10 years at Limerick Circuit Court in May 2005 for threatening to kill Ryan Lee, who is a first cousin of yesterday’s murder victim, Roy Collins.
Mr Lee and Mr Collins lived in the same house and were raised as brothers. Mr Lee was working as a barman in Brannigan’s bar, owned by his stepfather Stephen Collins, when a gunman walked into the crowded pub and singled him out.
Shortly before the shooting, Wayne Dundon threatened to kill Mr Lee after he refused his 14-year-old sister admission to the bar.
The Court of Criminal appeal reduced the 10-year sentence to seven years in February 2008.
When imposing the 10-year sentence, Judge Carroll Moran said he could not disregard the fact that shortly after the threat was made a man walked through a crowded bar and shot the barman. Mr Lee, in evidence, said Dundon pointed his hands like a gun at him and said: “F**k you, you’re dead.”
Half an hour later, Mr Lee was singled out by a gunman wearing a motorbike helmet and shot twice. Nobody has since been charged with the shooting.
Judge Moran said the shooting was not admissible and the prosecution took care to exclude it from evidence so the jury would have no knowledge of it.
Judge Moran said there was no evidence that Dundon had anything to do with the shooting.
However, he said, it would disregard common sense to say the shooting had nothing to do with the threat. “The shooting was indicative of the context in which the threat was made,” he said.
The shooting could be taken into account as part of the circumstances of the case, regardless of who carried it out.
Judge Moran said the threat to Mr Lee still existed and he was under Garda protection. He imposed two concurrent three-year sentences on Dundon for assaulting two gardaí while he was being questioned about the threat on Mr Lee’s life.
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