The case against a Limerick man charged with the murder businessman Roy Collins boils down to the proposition that he “made a run for it” when spotted by gardaí walking with a man against whom there was evidence had carried out the shooting, the Special Criminal Court has heard.
The non-jury court continued today hearing closing speeches in the trial of Wayne Dundon (aged 36), of Lenihan Avenue, Prospect and Nathan Killeen (aged 24) of Hyde Road, Prospect, who have pleaded not guilty to the murder of 35-year-old Roy Collins at Coin Castle Amusements, Roxboro Road Shopping Centre on April 9, 2009.
The non-jury court has heard that Mr Collins was at work around noon that day when a gunman entered his amusement arcade and discharged a single shot, hitting him in the chest.
He was conscious for a time, but his life could not be saved.
It is the prosecution case that Wayne Dundon directed the murder from prison, Nathan Killeen was the getaway driver and another man, James Dillon, was the gunman.
Counsel for Nathan Killeen, Mr Giollaiosa O Lideadha SC, told the court that the prosecution opened the case on the basis that the evidence of what he described as “gang associates” represented the “meat of the case”.
He said there was clearly no suggestion from the prosecution that the circumstantial evidence against Nathan Killeen could be sufficient to ground a conviction without essentially relying on the evidence of these gang associates.
Mr O Lideadha submitted that it was clear from the evidence that no jury properly charged could rely beyond a reasonable doubt on the evidence of these gang associates.
He said he would endorse the proposition made by counsel for Dundon, Mr Remy Farrell SC, that each of those witnesses in all material respects was wholly unworthy of credit.
If the court looks at the evidence of these gang associates and comes to the conclusion they are not worthy of credit, Mr O Lideadha submitted, it is not possible that the issue of corroboration could arise.
Counsel said that, should the court set aside the evidence of the gang associates, it was looking at a number of pieces of evidence against Nathan Killeen which boiled down to the basic proposition that he “made a run for it” and hid when he was seen walking with a person against whom there was evidence had carried out the shooting.
Mr O Lideadha submitted that this was what the case came down to.
The court has heard evidence from Detective Garda David Baynham that Nathan Killeen ran away from a garda patrol car just minutes after the shooting.
Det Gda Baynham said that at approximately 12:20pm on April 9 he observed two males walking from the direction of Garryglass Avenue.
Both youths were dressed in dark clothing and had their hoods pulled up tight, the witness said.
He told the court that as he approached one of the youths, he turned to his left toward the garda patrol car and the witness immediately recognised him as Nathan Killeen.
He said he wanted to speak to the youths as he suspected they were involved in the earlier shooting, but they ran from the car.
Closing speeches will continue on Monday in the trial before presiding judge Ms Justice Iseult O’Malley.