The jury will resume deliberations at the Central Criminal Court tomorrow morning in the trial of a Dublin man charged with murdering rugby player Shane Geoghegan.
The 28-year-old Garryowen captain was shot dead near his home in a case of mistaken identity on November 9, 2008.
Barry Doyle (aged 26), a father-of-three from Portland Row, Dublin, has pleaded not guilty to his murder at Clonmore, Kilteragh, Dooradoyle in Limerick.
Mr Justice Garrett Sheehan today summarised the defence and prosecution cases for the jury of eight men and three women.
He said the prosecution relied upon Barry Doyle’s admissions in garda custody, along with the evidence of the mother of one of his children, Victoria Gunnery, and the evidence of April Collins.
Ms Collins had given evidence of Barry Doyle’s involvement in a conspiracy to murder John McNamara, the man believed to be the intended target in the shooting.
Victoria Gunnery testified that she had discussed the murder with Barry Doyle afterwards, asking him how he was going to live with himself. She said he had told her: “If it wasn’t the wrong man, there wouldn’t be so much hype”.
The judge said that the defence maintained that Ms Gunnery’s evidence did not support the prosecution.
“The defence says you cannot rely on the evidence of April Collins,” he said, pointing out that the defence described her as a person of bad character with an improper motive.
The defence also claimed that Barry Doyle’s confession was the result of inducement in the form of threats and promises relating to Victoria Gunnery.
The court had heard that Mr Doyle’s and Ms Gunnery’s daughter had a heart complaint and that Mr Doyle thought that she was going for a hospital check-up on the morning they were both arrested.
“Do the right thing. Don’t keep Vicki away from the young one longer that she has to be,” he was told in one of the interviews before he confessed.
The defence contended that even if the jury decided that his confession wasn’t as a result of inducement, that its content was inconsistent with the other evidence, including forensic and ballistic.
The judge said the jury could observe Mr Doyle’s queries relating to Ms Gunnery and had the evidence of Mr Doyle taking off his rosary beads and asking that they be given to Shane Geoghegan’s mother.
The judge told the 11 jurors that it may be dangerous to convict someone on a confession alone without corroboration, but said they could do so if satisfied beyond a reasonable doubt that it was true.
He said corroboration was independent evidence which implicated Barry Doyle, and said they could find it in the evidence of April Collins and Victoria Gunnery as well as in the ballistics.
“But that’s a matter for you,” he added.
The jury deliberated for an hour and a half today before being sent home for the night. The foreman asked if they could resume their deliberations early tomorrow morning, saying they wanted to give it 100%.