Ve­hi­cle iden­ti­fi­ca­tion ex­pert gives ev­i­dence at dou­ble mur­der trial

The Argus - - NEWS -

A ve­hi­cle iden­ti­fi­ca­tion ex­pert has given ev­i­dence in a dou­ble mur­der trial at the Cen­tral Crim­i­nal Court.

The pros­e­cu­tion brought the ex­pert over from the UK to iden­tify ve­hi­cles caught on CCTV footage on both sides of the bor­der on the night that two Dublin men were shot dead in Co Louth.

Dubliner Ja­son O’Driscoll (34), with an ad­dress at Rich­mond Av­enue, Fairview, has pleaded not guilty to mur­der­ing 31-year-old An­thony Bur­nett and 25-year-old Joseph Red­mond in Co Louth on March 7th, 2012.

The trial has heard that fire­fight­ers were called to a burn­ing car in Ravens­dale For­est Park shortly be­fore 11 o’clock that night. The bod­ies of the two car thieves were dis­cov­ered in­side, with gun­shot wounds to their heads.

The jury last week watched CCTV footage of ve­hi­cles trav­el­ling in the Ravens­dale area be­fore 11pm, as well as footage of ve­hi­cles mov­ing in the Ar­magh vil­lage of Meigh af­ter 11pm.

An­drew Wooller tes­ti­fied last Tues­day that Gar­daí had con­tacted him and asked him to as­sist with the iden­ti­fi­ca­tion of the ve­hi­cles cap­tured on the footage.

He ex­plained to Alexan­der Owens SC, prose­cut­ing, that he was the manag­ing di­rec­tor of a com­pany in­volved in anal­y­sis of im­agery, spe­cial­is­ing in iden­ti­fi­ca­tion of ve­hi­cles from CCTV, and the re­con­struc­tion of events from CCTV.

He said he was shown footage of ve­hi­cles at both lo­ca­tions, with­out be­ing told what the Gar­daí thought they were.

He out­lined a num­ber of fea­tures that he noted on the ve­hi­cles he saw.

He said he con­cluded that the large, light-toned car that passed a cam­era in Ravens­dale be­fore 11pm was con­sis­tent with a Mercedes and not in­con­sis­tent with the Mercedes S Class.

He con­cluded that the dark-toned hatch­back car that fol­lowed it four sec­onds later could be a Volk­swa­gen Golf or two other makes.

He said that, on watch­ing the footage from Meigh, ‘it was im­me­di­ately ap­par­ent’ that the ve­hi­cle en­ter­ing the carpark was a Mercedes.

“The spe­cific shape and fea­tures sug­gest a Mercedes S class, the cur­rent model at the time,” he added.

It’s the State’s case that the two shoot­ing vic­tims had stolen a black Volk­swa­gen Golf from a home in Dublin in the early hours of March 7th, and had driven it north that night with the in­ten­tion of sell­ing it to the ac­cused.

Out­lin­ing the pros­e­cu­tion case at the start of the trial, Mr Owens said the two de­ceased had pulled into a layby at Ravens­dale Park around 10.45pm. They were shot in the head and the car set on fire.

The jury heard that a sil­ver, south­ern-reg­is­tered Mercedes was found aban­doned in the vil­lage of Meigh the fol­low­ing morn­ing.

Mr Owens said that this was the stolen car in which the ac­cused and an­other man had left ‘ the as­sas­si­na­tion’ in Ravens­dale the night be­fore.

The jury in a dou­ble mur­der trial has heard tech­ni­cal ev­i­dence about a re­con­struc­tion car­ried out in an ef­fort to iden­tify ve­hi­cles caught on CCTV near the killing.

An im­age sci­en­tist gave the ev­i­dence to the Cen­tral Crim­i­nal Court in the trial of a Dublin man, charged with mur­der­ing two fel­low Dublin­ers in a Louth for­est five and a half years ago.

The trial has heard that fire­fight­ers were called to a burn­ing car in Ravens­dale For­est Park shortly be­fore 11 o’clock that night. The bod­ies of the two car thieves were dis­cov­ered in­side, with gun­shot wounds to their heads.

The jury last week watched CCTV footage of ve­hi­cles trav­el­ling in the Ravens­dale area be­fore 11pm, as well as footage of ve­hi­cles mov­ing in the Ar­magh vil­lage of Meigh af­ter 11pm.

Foren­sic im­age an­a­lyst Matthew Cass tes­ti­fied on Wed­nes­day that he was one of two foren­sic im­age an­a­lysts, who trav­elled from the UK in 2013 to as­sist gar­dai with ve­hi­cle iden­ti­fi­ca­tion.

His col­league, An­drew Wooller, tes­ti­fied on Tues­day, that he had viewed CCTV footage of the ve­hi­cles. He had no knowl­edge of any sus­pect ve­hi­cles and made a num­ber of con­clu­sions. He then sug­gested that the gar­dai pro­vide a num­ber of ve­hi­cles for a re­con­struc­tion.

Mr Cass told Alexan­der Owens SC, prose­cut­ing, that they had put about a dozen dif­fer­ent ve­hi­cles through the re­con­struc­tion.

He ex­plained that they would usu­ally do a ‘di­rect over­lay com­par­i­son’ of the orig­i­nal and re­con­struc­tion im­ages.

How­ever, there were op­er­a­tional rea­sons why they couldn’t close the road and spend a lot of time repo­si­tion­ing ve­hi­cles on the night. In­stead, they had them driven the routes in ques­tion at a slow speed for a side-by-side com- pari­son.

Mr Wooller had al­ready tes­ti­fied that the re­con­struc­tion was of re­duced value, as both CCTV sys­tems had been changed in the mean­time.

How­ever, he con­cluded from his ini­tial view­ing of the orig­i­nal footage that the large, light-toned car that passed a cam­era in Ravens­dale be­fore 11pm was con­sis­tent with a Mercedes and not in­con­sis­tent with the Mercedes S Class.

He also con­cluded that the dark-toned hatch­back car that fol­lowed it four sec­onds later could be a Volk­swa­gen Golf or two other makes.

It’s the State’s case that the two shoot­ing vic­tims had stolen a black Volk­swa­gen Golf from a home in Dublin in the early hours of March 7th, and had driven it north that night with the in­ten­tion of sell­ing it to the ac­cused.

Out­lin­ing the pros­e­cu­tion case at the start of the trial, Mr Owens said the two de­ceased had pulled into a layby at Ravens­dale Park around 10.45pm. They were shot in the head and the car set on fire.

The jury heard that a sil­ver, south­ern-reg­is­tered Mercedes was found aban­doned in the vil­lage of Meigh the fol­low­ing morn­ing.

Mr Owens said that this was the stolen car in which the ac­cused and an­other man had left ‘ the as­sas­si­na­tion’ in Ravens­dale the night be­fore.

The trial has now gone into le­gal ar­gu­ment be­fore Mr Jus­tice Pa­trick McCarthy and will con­tinue on Wed­nes­day be­fore the jury of eight men and four women.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Ireland

© PressReader. All rights reserved.