Woman was with rapist, Dundon trial hears

A woman has admitted being in a “loving embrace” with a violent sex offender just one day after complaining to gardaí that she was in fear for her life following threats made by two of her ex-partner’s brothers.

Key prosecution witness April Collins, aged 24, was giving evidence in the trial of John Dundon, aged 29, of Hyde Road, Limerick, who has pleaded not guilty to threatening to kill her and making a threat to her to kill her mother Alice Collins at an address on Hyde Road on the weekend of Apr 3 and 4, 2011.

His brother Wayne Dundon, aged 33, of Lenihan Avenue, Ballinacurra Weston, has pleaded not guilty to five counts relating to threatening to kill Alice Collins and her children Gareth, Jimmy and April, as well as two counts of obstructing the course of justice at addresses in Limerick City between Sept 2010 and Mar 2011.

The court heard April Collins was in a relationship with Gerard Dundon, a brother of the accused men, for eight years until the end of Oct 2010 and had three children by him.

April Collins told Brian McCartney, defending John Dundon, that an unnamed person she was recorded by a Garda surveillance report as being in a “loving embrace” with on Apr 8, 2011, was Thomas O’Neill.

The court previously heard that O’Neill was the leader of a group of men convicted for a “horrific” gang rape in Cratloe Woods, Co Clare in 2004.

There was evidence that both April and Alice Collins went to Henry St Garda Station in Limerick to make statements of complaint on the evening of Apr 7, 2011.

Put to her by Mr McCartney that Ger Dundon was “very anxious” about his young children living under the same roof as a known violent sex offender, Ms Collins replied that O’Neill was not a paedophile and had “made a mistake” when he was a teenager.

She agreed with Mr McCartney she was pregnant with O’Neill’s child and denied ever describing him as dangerous and someone she would not have a relationship with.

April Collins told the court the Dundon family did not like the fact she had broken up with Ger Dundon and that her decision to stop bringing the children to visit their father in prison was a source of conflict.

She told Tom O’Connell, prosecuting, that she was at home on Hyde Road on Mar 25, 2011, when Wayne Dundon asked if he could come in to the house.

Ms Collins said Wayne Dundon demanded an explanation as to why she was not letting her children visit Ger Dundon in prison.

She said Wayne Dundon began shouting: “If anything happens to my brother over you, I will kill you first.”

Ms Collins said on Apr 3, she was sitting watching TV when someone began “bating” down the door.

She said she could see John Dundon through glass panels on the front door shouting: “I know you’re in there, you tramp, I want to see my nephews; when I get you, I am going to fucking kill you.”

She said she retired to bed later but awoke at 2am to find John Dundon standing on a shed in her back yard, while another man stood in the garden. Ms Collins said that when she asked John Dundon what he was doing there, he replied: “We’re looking for a good place to bury your mother.”

The trial continues.

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