A detective inspector has told how gardaí found a large number of mobile phones in raids in October 2005 on two Dublin city centre premises linked to a brothel operation.
One of the phones had the number "666" marked above the screen, it was revealed at Dublin Circuit Criminal Court in the trial of a man accused of running a brothel at one of the premises on Bachelor’s Walk
Mr Martin Morgan (aged 44), who denies running the brothel there was in the apartment when Detective Inspector Pat Lordon and other gardai entered with a search warrant on October 10, 2005.
Mr Morgan, with an address at Blackstock Road, London and formerly of Herbert Road, Blanchardstown has pleaded not guilty to three charges alleging he organised prostitution, that he acted or assisted in the management of a brothel and that he allowed the apartment to be used for prostitution on dates from August 22 to October 10, 2005.
Det Insp Lordon told prosecuting counsel, Mr Fergal Foley BL, that Morgan was sitting in the living room of the apartment beside a small table supporting six mobile phones and a large bunch of keys.
He said Morgan’s alleged "consort" Ms Deena Edridge, also known as "Chloe Taylor", was sitting at the other side of the table. He arrested Morgan and detained him for questioning.
Det. Insp Lordon told Mr Foley that one of the keys found on the table was the key to Morgan’s Jaguar. Another key opened the front door to his then Irish residence at Herbert Lane in the Ballsbridge area of Dublin.
Det. Insp Lordon said gardai found €5,000 cash in €50 notes in a safe in the living room. They also found a copy of an advertisement looking for a receptionist to work in a "busy chat-line agency" clipped on to a receipt from the newspaper group. He said Ms Edrige’s contact details were listed on the advert.
Detective Garda Kenneth Donnelly told Mr Foley that over 30 mobile phones were recovered on the same night in an apartment under surveillance at Malton House in the International Financial Services Centre district. He said he found the phones after hearing a "buzzing noise" coming from one of the drawers in the kitchen.
Det. Gda Donnelly said that most of the phones were numbered similarly at the front with two glossy, blue digits but one phone had the number "666" marked above the screen.
Defence counsel, Mr Michael O’Higgins SC (with Mr Sean Gillane BL) noted what he called Det. Insp Lordon’s "impressive" detailing of the operation in his evidence in court.
Det. Insp Lordon agreed with Mr O’Higgins that he didn’t take notes of his surveillance besides witness statements, CCTV and case exhibit records, but denied that he learned his original statement "off by heart".
He agreed with Mr O’Higgins that it was important for "the integrity of the evidence" to write a statement independently, without collusion from others. He further agreed that he spoke to other members of his surveillance team to check dates and times used as evidence in the case.
The hearing continues before Judge Frank O’Donnell and a jury of eight women and four men.