Murder trial witness denies being put under pressure to make false allegation

Stacey Hayes on Monday told the trial of Wayne Cooney that she picked up the accused from a bus stop in Darndale in Dublin shortly after Jordan Davis was shot dead nearby.
Murder trial witness denies being put under pressure to make false allegation

Eoin Reynolds

A murder trial witness at the Central Criminal Court has denied that criminals put pressure on her to make a false allegation against the accused man.

Stacey Hayes on Monday told the trial of Wayne Cooney that she picked up the accused from a bus stop in Darndale in Dublin shortly after Jordan Davis was shot dead nearby.

She said that she was driving a car with the accused man's girlfriend in the passenger seat.

The girlfriend, who can only be identified as EF due to a court order, directed Ms Hayes to a bus stop where the witness said they picked up the accused and drove him a short distance before he asked to be dropped off.

Mr Cooney's defence counsel Giollaiosa O Lideadha said his client denies getting into her car and believes Ms Hayes either knows she is not telling the truth or is mistaken.

Counsel asked Ms Hayes: "Is it possible that someone involved in criminal activities put pressure on you or asked you to make a false allegation against Wayne Cooney." She replied: "No."

Mr Cooney (31), with an address at Glenshane Drive in Tallaght, has pleaded not guilty to the murder of Jordan Davis (22) at a lane-way beside Our Lady of Immaculate National School in Darndale in Dublin on May 22nd, 2019.

Firearm possession

He has also pleaded not guilty to possessing a 9mm semi-automatic pistol and to possessing ammunition in circumstances that give rise to the reasonable inference that he did not have them for lawful purposes.

Ms Hayes told Bernard Condon SC, for the prosecution, that on the day Mr Davis was killed she was with EF, and they were on their way to Ms Hayes's mother's house when they were told that there had been a shooting.

She said: "We reversed to go around and have a nose, as everyone does, to see what was going on." She said she didn't initially see anything and was going back to her mother's house when she was told that the victim of the shooting was Jordan Davis.

EF asked to be dropped home but was speaking to someone on the phone, the witness recalled, and directed Ms Hayes to different locations in Darndale.

She said: "I thought she was having a nose." As they approached a roundabout in Darndale, EF asked Ms Hayes to turn right and then, as they passed a bus stop the witness recalled: "EF said, there's the git or the idiot or something and it was her partner Wayne."

Ms Hayes stopped, and the man got into the back seat of the car.

She dropped them off nearby on the Streamville Road.  Ms Hayes said she had met the accused twice previously and had seen photographs of him on social media. She also knew that the accused had a tattoo of a crown with EF's initials.

Giollaiosa O Lideadha SC, for the defence, told Ms Hayes that his instructions are that Mr Cooney did not get into her car on the day in question and she either knows she is not telling the truth or is mistaken. Ms Hayes said she understood.

Drug dealing

The witness agreed that she lives in a place where a lot of people are involved in various crimes including drug dealing. "It's happening everywhere," she said.

She agreed that part of that business is that people get into debt, there are rows and people get killed. "That's their own business," she added.

She said she did not know a number of people referred to by Mr OLideadha who had been murdered in that area in recent years.

Mr O Lideadha asked: "Is it possible that someone involved in criminal activities put pressure on you or asked you to make a false allegation against Wayne Cooney?" She replied: "No."

She agreed that she did not identify Mr Cooney at the bus stop before pulling over and that whoever got into the car came from behind and got into the back seat.

They travelled a short distance, she said, before she dropped them off. She agreed that she did not mention in her statement that she turned around to look at who was in the back seat.

Under re-examination Ms Hayes told Mr Condon that she has no involvement in crime and has no criminal convictions.

Gunshot wounds

She said it was Wayne, EF's partner, who got into her car on that date, and he was a person she had met previously. There was no discussion in the car for the short journey, she said.

Assistant State Pathologist Dr Margot Bolster also gave evidence on Monday, telling Mr Condon that Mr Davis suffered three gunshot wounds.

One entered the back of the neck, went through the brain and exited through the forehead. It caused severe traumatic brain injury and would have caused immediate collapse and instant death.

A second bullet entered the lower left side of the back and exited through the right chest. As it travelled through the body it perforated the abdominal aorta, the main blood vessel in the body. It caused severe bleeding and would have led to immediate collapse and rapid death.

The third bullet entered the back of the upper left thigh and exited through the lower abdomen having travelled through the bladder. It would have been disabling, Dr Bolster said.

The cause of death, she said, was multiple gunshot wounds. Mr Cooney's lawyers did not cross-examine the pathologist.

The trial continues in front of Mr Justice Tony Hunt and a jury of eight men and four women.

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