Jury shown baseball bat allegedly used to beat 64-year-old man

Jury shown baseball bat allegedly used to beat 64-year-old man

The jury in the trial of three men charged with the murder of Thomas 'Toddy' Dooley have been shown a baseball bat allegedly used to beat the 64-year-old.

Three men in their 20s have pleaded not guilty to the murder of Mr Dooley at Sister Senan Court in Edenderry, Co Offaly on February 12, 2014. They are: Matthew Cummins (22) of Churchview Heights, Edenderry, Co Offaly, Sean Davy (21) of Clonmullen Drive, Edenderry, Co Offaly and James Davy (25) of Thornhill Meadows, Celbridge, Co Kildare.

The Central Criminal Court has heard that Mr Dooley had been seen “alive and well” on February 11, 2014 when he received meals on wheels but that he was found dead in the living room of his home in Edenderry on February 16. 

It is the prosecution's case that Mr Dooley died from instrumental trauma to the head and chest.

Counsel for the Director of Public Prosecutions, Patrick Treacy SC, has said the State will seek to prove that all three accused were present in Mr Dooley’s home on the date in question and that each of them were part of a joint enterprise which led to his death.

Giving evidence today, Garda Trevor Shore, from Castlecomer Garda Station, said he was informed by colleagues that a baseball bat believed to have been used in connection with the alleged murder had been placed in a clothes bank in Edenderry where it was recovered by a lorry driver while emptying the bank on February 21.

The jury heard that the “exact same” baseball bat was subsequently brought to Castlecomer Garda Station in Co Kilkenny where it was placed in an evidence bag.

Gda Shore said there were several “marks and indentations” on the surface of the bat which was shown to the jury by exhibits officer in the case, Garda Ivan Cunnane.

Mr John Hoade, of the Forensic Science Laboratory, gave evidence that he examined the baseball bat of approximately 60cm in length. There was damage done to the bat with pieces of wood missing and indentations or “small dents”.

The Forensic Scientist said DNA matching the profile of Thomas Dooley was embedded in some of these dents.

Mr Hoade also gave evidence of having attended the scene at Sister Senan Court. He said blood staining indicated that Mr Dooley was assaulted with a weapon which was repeatedly swung through the air.

Mr Hoade said he also took samples from items of clothing recovered from a communal area of Cherry Court Apartments – a grey T-shirt and grey tracksuit bottoms.

The jury had heard that there was red staining on the items which appeared to be blood.

Mr Hoade said analysis of the blood found on the items matched a DNA reference sample taken from the mouth of Mr Cummins.

Counsel for James Davy, Padraig Dwyer SC, put it to Mr Hoade that there was “simply no DNA evidence in the case that had any relevance” to his client.

Mr Hoade said: “No, I didn't find his DNA.”

Detective Garda Niall Lannon, from the Garda Technical Bureau, also gave evidence that he was in charge of fingerprint analysis in the case.

Under cross examination, Det Gda Lannon said the fingerprints of James Davy were not found on any of the items exhibited before the jury and similarly there were no fingerprints related to Sean Davy.

The trial continues before Ms Justice Margaret Heneghan today/tomorrow(Friday).