Phone evidence places murder accused near murder scene

The jury in the trial of a man alleged to be the getaway driver in the fatal shooting of another man, has heard that forensic evidence shows the accused's phone was used near the scene on the afternoon of the killing.

The jury in the trial of a man alleged to be the getaway driver in the fatal shooting of another man, has heard that forensic evidence shows the accused's phone was used near the scene on the afternoon of the killing.

Liam Bolger (aged 23), of Homelawn Gardens in Tallaght has pleaded not guilty to murdering Christopher Barry (aged 25), in Dublin in September last year.

Mr Barry was shot nine times by a lone gunman as he sat in Byrne's Bookmakers on Killester Avenue in Donnycarney on Saturday, September 13, 2008.

It is the prosecution's case that the accused was the getaway driver for the gunman who carried out the killing, and that the case is one of joint enterprise.

The Central Criminal Court has already heard evidence from Mr Patrick Drew, who saw a man sitting in a white van with the engine running, around the corner from Killester Avenue on the afternoon in question.

Mr Drew told the jury of six men and six women that when he made eye contact with the man, he put a newspaper up to his face.

A few seconds later, Mr Drew saw a biker wearing a helmet with the visor down, sprint down the street and jump into the van which immediately took off.

He contacted Gardaí with the registration of the van, and they traced the white Renault to an address at Homelawn Gardens in Tallaght.

After obtaining a warrant and searching the house, Gardaí discovered a motorbike jacket and a hatchet and hammer in the hall.

They also seized a number of blue tablets and a bag of white powder along with two car seat covers, a car floor-mat and a broken piece from a motorbike seat.

Several mobile phones were also seized, including those belonging to the accused's mother and family members.

Giving evidence on day four of the trial, Detective Conlon told the court that signals from a mobile phone mast at Parnell Park GAA grounds show the accused's phone was used in that area between 2.20pm and 2.55pm on the day in question.

When asked what distance the mast is from Byrne's bookmakers, Detective Conlon replied “I wouldn't know. But that is the mast that would serve that area.”

He said 12 contacts in all were made during that time, including phone calls and text messages between that phone and the phones of the accused's mother and family members.

The court also heard evidence from Gerard O'Brien, a friend of Mr Bolger's and a business manager at a Renault garage in Swords.

He told the court that Mr Bolger had texted him prior to Saturday September 13.

“Liam asked me did I know the address you would go to to sell a car...nothing unusual in that,” he said.

Mr O'Brien said he replied to the text message on Saturday September 13 around lunchtime giving Mr Bolger the address he'd requested.

The trial continues tomorrow before Mr Justice Paul Carney.

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