Detective sergeant tells murder trial Freddie Thompson is man in 'spotter' car

A detective sergeant has identified Frederick 'Freddie' Thompson as the man in one of four ‘spotter’ cars allegedly used in the killing of a Dublin shoe shop manager.

Detective sergeant tells murder trial Freddie Thompson is man in 'spotter' car

By Natasha Reid

A detective sergeant has identified Frederick 'Freddie' Thompson as the man in one of four ‘spotter’ cars allegedly used in the killing of a Dublin shoe shop manager.

Detective Sergeant Adrian Whitelaw told the 37-year-old’s murder trial that he had seen a photograph of himself with a similar-looking Mr Thompson taken a few months earlier.

Mr Thompson (pictured below), with an address at Loreto Road, Maryland in Dublin, has pleaded not guilty to the murder of David Douglas on July 1, 2016 on Bridgefoot Street in the city.

The non-jury Special Criminal Court has heard that the 55-year-old was shot six times shortly after 4pm, as he took a meal break at the counter in his partner’s shop, Shoestown.

He died after suffering concussion, hemorrhage on the brain and obstructed breathing due to facial injuries and inhaled blood. A semi-automatic pistol with its serial number removed was found next to his head.

The prosecution does not argue that Mr Thompson carried out the actual shooting, but the three judges have already heard that his DNA was found in two alleged ‘spotter’ cars used in the shooting.

The judges are now hearing a legal issue on the admissibility of other evidence that the prosecution plans to adduce.

D Sgt Whitelaw testified today that he had been asked to view CCTV footage captured in Little Caesar’s Restaurant in the city to see if he could identify two females present.

The footage from 7.30 on the evening of the killing was then played in court.

“The man in the dark top and the black baseball cap is Freddie Thompson,” he told Sean Gillane SC, prosecuting.

He identified two other males for the court, but said he couldn't identify the two females.

He was also shown footage captured at the Thompson family stall on Meath Street around the time that Mr Douglas was shot nearby.

“The man in the cap is Frederick Thompson,” he said.

He was referring to a man who had got out of a silver Ford Fiesta and who, the defence accepts, can be seen dismantling a mobile phone.

He was then shown footage of a silver Fiesta captured from the White Swan Industrial Estate that day.

“I was able to identify that person and it’s Frederick Thompson,” he said, referring to the driver.

He made the same observation of the driver of a silver Fiesta on nearby Donore Ave on the same day.

“I’m sure it’s Frederick Thompson,” he said.

“How do you know him?” asked Mr Gillane.

Michael O’Higgins SC, defending, intervened and accepted that the sergeant knew his client.

“He’s sufficiently associated with him to recognise him,” he said.

Under cross examination by Mr O’Higgins, the sergeant agreed that anyone looking at the footage from the stall would recognise the accused.

“And anyone looking at his activity would regard it as suspicious, isn’t that right?” asked the barrister.

“Yes,” he replied.

He was asked about how he identified him as the driver of the Fiesta.

“I was influenced by the time that I saw him previously, in or around April or May, and he looked exactly like that,” he said.

“I’d seen him in many forms. He looks different today. He looks different on many occasions,” he continued. “If you doubt that, I believe there’s a photograph of myself and Mr Thompson dated back in either April or May.”

He said that the accused had the same beard and was dressed similarly in both that photograph and the CCTV footage.

“I know him. It’s him. I’m sure it’s him,” he said.

Mr O’Higgins questioned him about his client looking different on different occasions.

“I’ve always been able to recognise him,” testified the sergeant.

Garda Ciaran Byrne had earlier testified about showing the footage to D Sgt Whitelaw for identification purposes. Under cross examination by Mr O’Higgins, he accepted that the sergeant already knew that Mr Thompson was a suspect before seeing the footage.

He also agreed that D Sgt Whitelaw had seen ‘the footage of the dismantling of the phone and breaking up of what the prosecution says was a sim’ before seeing the other footage.

The trial continues before Mr Justice Tony Hunt, presiding, with Judge Flannan Brennan and Judge Gerard Griffin.

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