Shooting trial jury ‘can draw inferences’

Gavin Sheehan: Has pleaded not guilty.

The jury in the trial of a man accused of firing a shot through the front-room window of a house in Cork City in May was told in the closing prosecution speech that the inference from the evidence was inescapable.

Donal O’Sullivan, prosecuting, went through the timeline of various sightings of a man on CCTV footage in the relevant areas and times, including CCTV which the accused had outside his own house.

Gavin Sheehan, aged 30, of 7 Laurel Ridge, Shanakiel, Cork, pleaded not guilty to all four charges against him arising out of the incident which occurred on May 15.

Mr O’Sullivan said, “I cannot say I have a witness who saw Gavin Sheehan shooting. I cannot. Nobody can. But a jury is entitled to draw inferences from evidence. Circumstantial evidence is evidence that the jury can use to infer a fact.”

Mr O’Sullivan said that apart from CCTV of a man they say was Gavin Sheehan, they have a message from his phone where he allegedly said, “I am packing well.” He asked the jury to use their common sense to decide what that meant.

Mr O’Sullivan said the inference from all the evidence was inescapable that the accused fired the shot.

Vincent Heneghan, defending, said in his closing speech that this was not a beauty contest. If it was, it would have been lost on the first day when the defendant pleaded guilty to causing criminal damage to another house with a hurley and video evidence from Dino’s chip shop of him punching Dylan Cunningham early in the evening. Mr Heneghan said both incidents showed bad and unacceptable behaviour. But he told the jurors they were not in court to judge Gavin Sheehan in relation to those incidents.

In respect of the shooting, Mr Heneghan said the prosecution case was flawed. He said there was no firearm residue on the accused, there was no DNA or fingerprints on the gun and he said the timeline put forward by the prosecution for the accused running to the scene of the crime was flawed.

“This might seem like nit-picking or it might seem like grasping at straws but it is the State which is not giving you the true time for when the shooting occurred,” Mr Heneghan said.

Gavin Sheehan pleaded not guilty to a charge that at his home at Laurel Ridge on the May 15 he had in his possession a Smith and Wesson 60.96 semi-automatic firearm. He denied that he discharged a firearm, being reckless as to whether any person was injured or not on Sunday, May 15, at Hollywood estate. He denied assault causing serious harm where he intentionally or recklessly assaulted Ciara Sheehan causing her serious harm. He denied a further charge related to ammunition.

Judge Seán Ó Donnabháin will address the jury today.


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