Two Limerick men threatened to kill a mother and her three children after a row over visiting rights for the children of their incarcerated brother, their Special Criminal Court trial will hear.
Wayne Dundon (aged 33), of Lenihan Avenue, Ballinacurra Weston, has pleaded not guilty to five counts relating to threatening to kill Alice Collins, her two sons Gareth and Jimmy and her daughter April, as well as two counts of obstructing the course of justice at addresses in Limerick city between September 2010 and March 2011.
His younger brother John Dundon (aged 29), with an address at Hyde Road, Limerick, has pleaded not guilty to threatening to kill April Collins and making a threat to April to kill her mother Alice Collins at an address on Hyde Road on the weekend of April 3 and 4, 2011.
Opening the prosecution case today, Mr Tom O’Connell SC said the non-jury court would hear that complainant April Collins had been in a relationship with Gerard Dundon, a brother of the accused men, from when she was aged 16 and had three children by him.
He said the acrimony began when April took the decision to end her relationship with Ger and stop bringing the children to visit him in prison, where he was in custody on charges relating to the extortion and intimidation of nightclub owner Mark Heffernan.
Mr O’Connell said that the catalyst for the alleged threats to kill was a fight between April’s brother Gareth Collins and Nathan Killeen in Limerick prison on the afternoon of September 30, 2010.
He said that Nathan Killeen’s sister, who is married to John Dundon, and three other women subsequently went to the home of Alice Collins at Hyde Avenue and attacked her car with “various implements”.
Mr O’Connell said the court would hear that later that night Wayne Dundon, finding the front door of the house at Hyde Avenue open, walked in to Alice Collins sitting room, threatened to kill her son Gareth and also told her: “Our job will be to give some fool €10,000 to kill your Jimmy, how about that?”
He said there would be evidence that when a “petrified” Alice Collins asked why Wayne Dundon was picking on her son Jimmy, he replied: “It’s the quiet fella who gets it.”
Mr O’Connell said the court would hear that six months later on March 25, 2011 an “extremely angry” Wayne Dundon walked in to the house on Hyde Road where April Collins had been living for a number of years and demanded an explanation as to why she was not letting her children visit Ger Dundon in prison.
He said Wayne Dundon told April that if anything happened to his brother over her, he would kill her and said in reference to her brother Gareth that he would not make it past the gates of Limerick prison when he was released.
Mr O’Connell said that Wayne Dundon also told April that if her mother visited the house on Hyde Road one more time she “won’t drive away again”, adding: “She will be going in a body bag; you know our threats are serious so tell her that from me.”
He said the court would hear that on the night of April 3, 2011, Wayne Dundon’s brother John began hammering on the front door of April Collins’ house and said to her: “I want to see my nephews you tramp, when I catch you I am going to kill you.”
Mr O’Connell said April Collins told John Dundon to “go away” but the following morning she looked out a rear window to see the accused man standing on a shed in her back yard, while another man stood in the garden.
When April asked John Dundon what he was doing there, Mr O’Connell said the court would hear that the accused man replied: “We’re looking for a good place to bury your mother.”
Mr O’Connell told the court that the charges against Wayne Dundon in relation to the intimidation of potential prosecution witnesses Alice and April Collins with the intention of obstructing the course of justice arose out of the earlier incident at Hyde Road on September 30, 2010.
He said the court would hear that Wayne Dundon was present at the address after the attack on the car and, after asking Alice Collins if she had contacted the gardaí, told her that his brother John was going to “hunt people down” if Ciara Killeen went to jail.
Mr O’Connell said it would be the prosecution case that Wayne Dundon had visited Alice Collins in the aftermath of the attack to prevent her making a complaint to gardaí.
The trial, which is listed for two weeks, continues in front of presiding judge Mr Justice Paul Butler.