Limerick murder trial collapse case 'could be dropped'

The case against three people charged in connection with the collapse of a murder trial two years ago could be dropped if the Book of Evidence is not ready in two weeks, a court has heard.

The case against three people charged in connection with the collapse of a murder trial two years ago could be dropped if the Book of Evidence is not ready in two weeks, a court has heard.

The trial of Limerick man Liam Keane collapsed at the Central Criminal Court in Dublin in 2003 after a number of key witnesses denied making statements identifying Mr Keane as the killer of 19-year-old Eric Leamy in August 2001.

Mr Keane, who denied the murder of Eric Leamy, dramatically walked free from the Central Criminal Court after the DPP ordered that a ‘Nolle Prosequi’ should be entered with his presumption of innocence still intact.

At the time, Mr Justice Paul Carney remarked that it appeared that a number of people were suffering from “collective amnesia” in the case.

Three of these witnesses were subsequently charged in connection with the collapse of the trial but the charges were later dropped as the Book of Evidence was not served in time.

The three were recharged last month and earlier today Limerick District Court Judge Tom O'Donnell warned gardaí to have the Book of Evidence ready by July 27 next.

Appearing before Judge O'Donnell today were Roy Behan, (aged 25), of St Senan's Street, St Mary's Park; David Murphy, (aged 22), of the Lee Estate, and Amanda McNamara, (aged 22), formerly of the Lee Estate, all in Limerick.

Roy Behan is accused of committing perjury while under oath as a witness in the trial of Liam Keane on November 3, 2003, by "knowingly and falsely swearing" that he did not see a row which led to the death of Eric Leamy.

Amanda McNamara is charged with committing perjury on October 30, 2003, in the same trial by "knowingly and falsely swearing" that she did not know where she was when Eric Leamy was killed.

David Murphy is accused of contempt of court by "refusing to give evidence" in the same trial on October 30, 2003, at the Central Criminal Court.

Inspector Declan Murphy told the court that gardaí had hoped the book of evidence would be ready by yesterday morning but it would take one more week.

Defence solicitor Ted McCarthy reminded Judge O'Donnell that charges against his client and the other co-accused had previously been dropped because of the delay by gadaí in serving the book of evidence.

Judge Tom O'Donnell adjourned the case until July 27 next and warned that the Book of Evidence needs to be ready on that date.

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