Massareene trial: DNA in car 'points to men's guilt'

The discovery of DNA from two men accused of murdering two soldiers inside the getaway car makes them inescapably guilty, a court has heard.

The discovery of DNA from two men accused of murdering two soldiers inside the getaway car makes them inescapably guilty, a court has heard.

They were part of a group of dissident republicans who wanted to “shock and shake” the community in the North, prosecution barrister Terence Mooney QC said.

Brian Shivers and Colin Duffy deny the murder of Sappers Mark Quinsey and Patrick Azimkar, who were shot outside their Army base in Antrim. A defence lawyer warned against a potential miscarriage of justice.

Mr Mooney said: “The finding of the DNA of Duffy and Shivers at that car with objects contained in it leads you to the inescapable conclusion that they were involved in that plot and that therefore they were guilty of the offences. We invite the court to convict them of all charges.”

Sappers Quinsey, 23, and Azimkar, 21, were shot dead by the Real IRA as they collected pizzas with comrades outside Massereene Army base in Antrim town in March 2009.

Duffy, 44, from Forest Glade in Lurgan, Co Armagh, and Shivers, 46, from Sperrin Mews, in Magherafelt, Co Derry, deny two charges of murder and the attempted murder of six others – three soldiers, two pizza delivery drivers and a security guard.

Matchsticks, a seatbelt buckle, a latex glove tip and a mobile phone in the escape car are alleged to contain their DNA.

Mr Mooney told Belfast Crown Court sitting in Antrim: “This devastating attack shook the confidence of the community, as it was designed to do.

“From the evidence, the court may infer that it was the intention of the perpetrators and any who contributed their assistance to those perpetrators in any way shared that joint purpose to shock and shake the community by the exercise of lethal force against a number of targets resulting in the death and wounding of those persons.

“The fact that it was claimed by a dissident group of republicans shows that it was a conjoined group sharing a common intent to carry out that purpose.”

A son of dead leading Irish National Liberation Army republican Dominic McGlinchey was the getaway driver, the court heard.

Police have “reliable” information and questioned his sons Dominic and Declan about the killings, a barrister for Duffy said. Neither was charged.

Barry MacDonald QC represents Duffy and said the non-jury court judge had to weigh up the “imponderable” factor of his own subconscious attitude towards his client.

Duffy has sported a thick grey beard and unkempt hair for the duration of the trial in protest about his detention in prison, a tactic adopted by alleged dissident republicans. Shivers has admitted attending meetings of republican socialist group Eirigi but said he did not join it.

Mr MacDonald said: “It would be to ignore the elephant in the room if I were not to draw attention to the dangers that can arise in circumstances such as this case where the court is invited your Lordship to stretch and draw inferences to the extent that your Lordship has been invited to do.”

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