Murder accused is either guilty or ‘the most unlucky person ever’, court told

Wayne Cooney (31), with an address at Glenshane Drive in Tallaght, has pleaded not guilty to the murder of Jordan Davis (22)
Murder accused is either guilty or ‘the most unlucky person ever’, court told

Eoin Reynolds

A man who denies shooting dead a father-of-one as he pushed his four-month-old son in a pram is either guilty of the murder or is the "most unlucky person ever", a barrister has told a jury at the Central Criminal Court.

Prosecution barrister Bernard Condon SC delivered his closing speech on Thursday morning, telling the jury that he is asking them to infer that Wayne Cooney is the man who fired eight bullets, three of which "catastrophically injured Jordan Davis".

Counsel said the "succession of coincidences and strange events that have collided in this case are such that either it is Wayne Cooney or he is the most unlucky person ever."

Defence counsel Giollaíosa Ó Lideadha SC said there are "huge holes" in every aspect of the prosecution's case which they had attempted to ignore when presenting their case.

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.

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.

CCTV footage

Prosecution barrister Mr Condon told the jury that CCTV footage showed a person cycling around Darndale for three days, circling Jordan Davis, "as sinister as a shark moving towards its prey".

On the day of the shooting, he said there is "very strong evidence" that the same person cycling the bicycle at 3.11pm is the one who carried out the shooting at 4pm and then dumped the bike four minutes later after cycling at speed to Belcamp Lane. People who saw the cyclist described him as athletic, well-built, with darkish skin, "all consistent with it being Wayne Cooney," counsel said.

Mr Condon said that the cyclist's movements are consistent with phone calls made between a phone with a number ending in 166 attributed to Mr Cooney and a phone attributed to a local drug dealer who previously threatened to kill Mr Davis.

The drug dealer, who can only be referred to as CD, is the brother of Mr Cooney's girlfriend. Minutes before the shooting, counsel said, there was a call between Mr Cooney and the drug dealer just as the person on the bike can be seen acting "in a manner consistent with a person having a phone conversation".

Tattoos

Having dumped the bike at 4:04pm the cyclist was then seen on CCTV taking off his gloves and putting them in the pocket of his body warmer, Mr Condon said. The person has marks on his hands consistent with Mr Cooney's tattoos and is wearing a large watch, he said. The man went off CCTV for 46 seconds during which time he removed the body warmer and left it behind.

As the person came back into view, Mr Condon said, he could be seen on his mobile phone just as phone analysis again shows that the 166 phone was in contact with another number. He added: "What an extraordinary coincidence that at that moment that phone is making a call at that exact time."

There was a further call between the 166 number and Mr Cooney's girlfriend, who can only be referred to as EF. Mr Condon said that call is consistent with the evidence of Stacey Hayes who said EF was on the phone while directing her to drive around different parts of Darndale. Ms Hayes said that they arrived at a bus stop near Clarehall Shopping Centre and EF said something like "there's the eejit" and they pulled over and Wayne Cooney got into the back seat.

Mr Condon said CCTV showed that the person at the bus stop was the same person who dumped the bike and carried out the shooting. Mr Condon said CCTV later on clearly showed Mr Cooney returning to the area where the body warmer had been dumped. Mr Cooney, he said, can be seen coming back in view carrying and then wearing the body warmer.

Gloves

Counsel further pointed out that a pair of gloves was found near where the body warmer had been dumped. When tested they contained Mr Cooney's DNA and firearms residue. A bicycle found nearby also had firearms residue on it. In garda interviews Mr Cooney said he used to own a pair of similar gloves but had left them out for a clothing collection company.

Mr Condon invited the jury to find that this was a lie. He said it would be an "extraordinary coincidence" if, given the other evidence, those gloves would have made their way from the clothing collection company to the site where the killer can be seen putting the gloves in his pocket before removing the body warmer.

A site where Mr Cooney can be seen arriving a short time later and walking away wearing a body warmer.

Mr Condon said the prosecution also relies on the evidence of Detective Garda Shane Kelly who said that he recognised Mr Cooney from CCTV taken in Darndale showing the person on the bike before the shooting.

Garda evidence

Giollaíosa Ó Lideadha, for the defence, said Mr Condon had mixed together some items of substance with other items that do not significantly support the prosecution case to present the jury with "a very long list of what he describes as extraordinary coincidences."

He described the evidence of Det Gda Kelly as "irrational, unreliable and proven to be self-contradictory".

Gda Kelly had made a positive identification using stills which Mr O Lideadha said showed only a "blank face" and from which it is "absolutely impossible to make an identification". He said it was also "impossible" for Gda Kelly to have identified anyone from footage at the bus stop, which Gda Kelly said showed the accused.

He also pointed out that other gardai had watched the same CCTV and did not identify Mr Cooney while one identified a different person.

He said the evidence linking Mr Cooney to the 166 number was nothing more than that his former girlfriend had bought a pizza using that number. "What else do they have to support this? Absolutely nothing," he said.

He said there was no evidence that Stacey Hayes ever actually looked at the person who got into her car that she identified as Wayne Cooney. Challenging the DNA evidence, he said the prosecution expert had said that it is possible Mr Cooney's DNA could have been transferred to the glove without being worn by Mr Cooney.

He said the defence was also able to show that there were a number of possible sources of threat to Mr Davis other than CD.

None of the eyewitnesses who saw the shooter or the man on the bike mentioned Mr Cooney's star tattoo on the side of his neck, counsel said. He also pointed out that Mr Cooney was willing to do an identity parade even though he had been told there were eyewitnesses to the murder. No parade was ever undertaken.

Mr O Lideadha will continue his speech to the jury of seven men and four women on Friday. Mr Justice Tony Hunt is presiding.

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