Phone of murder accused 'was used near murder scene'

The jury in the trial of a Dublin man, who was the alleged getaway driver for a gunman in a fatal shooting, has heard that the accused's phone was used near the scene, just minutes before the killing.

The jury in the trial of a Dublin man, who was the alleged getaway driver for a gunman in a fatal shooting, has heard that the accused's phone was used near the scene, just minutes before the killing.

Giving evidence on day five of the trial, Detective Garda Pat Conlon told the Central Criminal Court that signals from a mobile phone mast on the northside of Dublin, show text messages were sent and received by the accused's phone in the vicinity of the shooting, on September 13, 2008.

Liam Bolger (aged 23), of Homelawn Gardens in Tallaght has pleaded not guilty to the murder of Christopher Barry (aged 25), on that date,

Mr Barry was shot several times as he sat in Byrne's Bookmakers on Killester Avenue in Donnycarney that afternoon.

A number of eye witnesses saw a lone gunman wearing a motorbike helmet enter the bookies at around 3pm in the afternoon and open fire.

The deceased was hit nine times and died at the scene.

Witnesses also told the court how they saw the gunman get on a motorbike that was parked outside the shop, and drive down the footpath and around the corner.

A man wearing a motorcycle helmet was also seen pouring petrol over a motorbike and setting it on fire on La Vista Avenue, a cul de sac close to Killester Avenue.

Counsel for the prosecution, Mr Paddy McCarthy SC, has told the jury of six men and six women that it's his case Mr Bolger was the getaway driver for the gunman, and that the case is one of joint enterprise.

One of the main witnesses, Patrick Drew, saw a man sitting in white van with the engine running, around the corner from Killester Avenue.

In his evidence, he told the jury that he then saw a man wearing a motorbike helmet sprint down the lane and jump in the van which took off “pretty fast.”

He phoned in the van's registration to Gardaí, who traced the white Renault to an address at Homelawn Gardens in Tallaght.

Today, Detective Conlon told the court that signals from the mobile phone mast at the GAA grounds in Parnell Park show the accused's phone was used in the area between 14.20pm and 14.55pm on the afternoon of the killing.

When asked how far that mast is from Byrne's Bookmakers on Killester Avenue, Detective Conlon replied “ I wouldn't know that. But that is the mast that serves that area.”

He said the mast recorded 12 contacts made by Mr Bolger's phone in that time, including calls and text messages to his mother, Jean Bolger, and his two sisters.

One of his sisters texted Mr Bolger's phone after she had received a call from it, saying: “ you ok Liam? You sound a bit odd.” She received a text back that read “sound.”

The Parnell Park mast also recorded a number of other text messages between the accused's phone and those of his friends up until 14.55pm.

The next recorded use of the mobile was at 15.36pm when a call was made from Mr Bolger's phone to his mother's phone. That call was recorded by the mast at Baker's pub on Thomas Street, indicating that the phone was in a city centre location at that time.

The court also heard evidence from Eamonn O'Garvey, an engineer with Meteor Mobile Communications.

Mr O'Garvey told the court that after examining traffic on the mobile phone attributed to Liam Bolger, he found it had been using the mast at Parnell Park GAA grounds on the afternoon of September 13, 2008.

The trial continues tomorrow morning before Mr Justice Paul Carney

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