A jury at the trial of a Clondalkin man accused of pointing a loaded gun at gardaí has heard that the weapon allegedly recovered from him was “cocked, ready for use” and had its serial number erased.
Ian Dutton (aged 46) is on trial at Dublin Circuit Criminal Court accused of pointing the weapon at gardaí outside a house where they were conducting a drugs search and later reproducing the gun while resisting arrest.
Dutton, of Greenfort Lawns, Clondalkin, has pleaded not guilty to possession of a Glock semi automatic pistol and ammunition in suspicious circumstances; possession of a firearm and ammunition without a certificate; and producing a firearm for the purpose of resisting arrest at Greenfort Crescent on October 4, 2009.
Mr Dutton has also pleaded not guilty to obstructing a garda who was attempting to fingerprint him.
Detective Sergeant Kevin Brooks, of the ballistics section at Garda Headquarters, told Mr Shane Costelloe BL, prosecuting, that when he examined the handgun he noticed the serial number had been erased and there was black paint over the area where it should be. He said without the serial number the gun could not be traced.
He said the gun was a model “26”, in working order, which had a short butt designed to facilitate concealed carriage. He said it was not a sporting gun and was designed for military police use, as was the ammunition.
Det Sgt Brooks told defence counsel, Mr John Phelan SC (Mr Shane Geraghty BL), that the Glock pistol was a favourite of those involved in “shooting incidents” in this country. He said that out of 67 shootings between 2008 and 2009 there were 30 shootings involving a Glock pistol.
Garda David Conroy told Mr Costelloe that during the drug search at Greenfort Cresent he was detailed to go to the back of the house and secure the “granny flat” with a number of his colleagues. He said entry was effected to the flat by the use of “enforcer”, a heavy cylindrical object with handles.
He said they shouted "armed gardaí", switched on the light and located two individuals inside. He said they brought the man and woman to the main house where Garda Michael Ormonde had Mr Dutton in custody.
Gda Conroy said he saw Garda David Kennedy outside the house holding a handgun in the sleeve of his jumper. He said he took the gun from Gda Kennedy and while wearing gloves put it in a bag.
He said he supplied Mr Dutton with a white boiler suit at the station and took his clothes away for examination.
Gda Conroy told defence counsel, Mr Shane Geraghty BL (with Mr John Phelan SC), that he did “absolutely not” put his gun to the head of any person during the drugs search and said that would be “completely irresponsible".
He agreed that he took Mr Dutton to Tallaght Hospital after his arrest to be treated for a cut to his hand.
Sergeant Alan McGovern told Mr Costelloe that he met Gda Conroy at Tallaght Garda Station that night and he showed him a 9mm Glock pistol. He said Gda Conroy asked him to make it safe and he did so.
Sgt McGovern said he removed the magazine which held live rounds and pulled back the slide to find there was a round in the breech. He said the gun was “cocked, ready for use” and was in a “dangerous state”.
Sgt McGovern agreed with Mr Phelan that he wore gloves while handling the gun and did so to avoid getting fingerprints on the weapon.
Garda Patrick O’Sullivan said he told Mr Dutton at Tallaght Garda Station that it was an offence to refuse to allow his fingerprints to be taken and he replied “f*** off, your not getting anything off me.”
He said when he made a physical attempt to take to fingerprints Mr Dutton pulled down the sleeves of his white disposable suit.
Gda O’Sullivan told Mr Phelan that he was “unsure” what law required him to make a physical attempt to take the fingerprints. He said he did not notice one of Mr Dutton’s hands was bandaged.
Sergeant Martin Woods told Mr Costelloe that another attempt was made to take Mr Dutton’s photograph and fingerprints later that day. He said Mr Dutton put his hand over his face when an attempt was made to take his photograph and closed his fist when a colleague took his wrist to bring his hand to the ink plate.
Sgt Wood denied a suggestion by Mr Phelan that the consequences of refusing to give his fingerprints was never explained to Mr Dutton.
The trial continues before Judge Frank O’Donnell and a jury of six men and six women.