A hospital consultant could find no reason why an illiterate prisoner due to defend himself at a murder trial fainted and cut his head in a cell, a court has heard.
The prosecution case against John Dundon, who is on hunger strike, will open today at the Special Criminal Court after a new legal team was hired to represent him the day after he sacked his solicitor and barristers.
Dundon, 30, from Hyde Road, Limerick, has pleaded not guilty to the murder of Garryowen rugby player Shane Geoghegan on November 9, 2008.
An emergency consultant from Dublin’s Beaumont Hospital, Peadar Gilligan, told the three judge non-jury court that Dundon had two superficial cuts to the back of his head and that despite several tests – including a MRI scan – there was no obvious reason for a unconsciousness on arrival to the emergency department yesterday afternoon.
“My impression was possible psychogenic coma,” he said.
“There was no medical cause for the coma.”
The case is being opened by prosecuting barrister Tom O’Connell and adjourned until Monday, giving a new defence team time to read through 10,000 documents relating to the case, Limerick-based solicitor John Devane, with senior counsel Brendan Nix.
Mr Nix told the court “there will be no messing around” during the trial if he took over the case.
“I won’t be party to any obfuscation,” he said.
The court heard the case centres on three State witnesses and that Mr Geoghegan was shot in a case of mistaken identity.