Prosecution says it is 'inescapable' that accused participate in killing

VICTIM: John Wilson
VICTIM: John Wilson

Lawyers for the State have told a murder trial jury it is "inescapable" that the accused participated in the death of a man in Dublin more than two years ago.

Keith O'Neill (39) from Lissadell Drive, Drimnagh in Dublin has pleaded not guilty to murdering John Wilson (35) on September 28th, 2012 at his home on Cloverhill Road, Ballyfermot Dublin 10.

In his closing speech, Mr Conor Devally SC prosecuting described the shooting as a "brutal event".

"This is a case of murder - Mr John Wilson was murdered. If somebody points a gun at somebody and discharges bullets into him and he died, there is unlikely to be any question as to whether that was murder," he said.

"It is the prosecutions case that the murder was one perpetrated by Mr O'Neill.

I will go into a sequence of evidence and paint a picture where it is inescapable that Mr O'Neill participated in the death of Mr Wilson," he continued.

"This is a case in which investigation took place that brought gardai to check a number of CCTV cameras. Garda Mark Collander described the bullets embedded in the wall saying they came from the gun that was found in a smouldering car not far away in Cherry Orchard," he said.

"On September 28th, we know some of the movements of Mr Wison and many of the  movements of Mr O'Neill. We know that at 10.30 in the morning, he was wearing certain items of clothing including quite a distinctive t-shirt," he said.

"The events occur at Cloverhill Road and there is a description by the daughter (of the deceased) which adds to the picture that this was a brutal event and it obviously happened."

"The remainder of the evidence makes it clear it happened with an open doorway and with Mr Wilsons friend who had been in the car becoming very panicky and making his way down the street," he said.

"Minutes before three o'clock, gardai were alerted and were on the scene. There was a bit of chaos and guards doing their best to clear the scene."

"After the killing, (the accused) is easy to follow because there are kids trotting around beside him. He went to JD sports and he has a transaction where he buys goods - goods into which he changes," he said.


"Mr O'Neill purchased a new wardrobe - he didn't wait to get home before he wore them - he puts on all his new clothes and hangs around the shopping centre before going home," said Mr Devally.

"Not long after he goes out with one of his children. There are various viewings of him going down the street carrying JD sports bags. This journey was not just about household rubbish - a pair of runners, jeans and two t shirts were all disposed of," he continued.

"Evidence suggests that those jeans, when retrieved, were in the JD bag - there are particles on the jeans consistent with firearms residue," he said.

"There was petrol on socks, residue on jeans, a phone and clothes disposed of - to explain them as being consistent with innocence is to sell yourselves short," he added.

"The alternative is that this is the unluckiest man in Ireland," he concluded.

Mr Anthony Sammon SC defending said there was no evidence of a motive and nothing connecting Keith O'Neill with the Ruger gun found in the burnt out car.

"If Keith O'Neill is not the shooter, it would suggest there was a transfer of gunshot residue - how did it happen and where," asked Mr Sammon.

"How come items were taken from a skip without (the forensic scientist) being furnished with details of what was in the skip - under no circumstances should evidence be taken to the forensic scientist where there have been several contamination points," he said.

"A car used regularly by firearms users is likely to be significantly contaminated - it is the worst possible place for items to be taken off to see if they have anything on them," he said

"What is going on that you can have that utter lack of professionalism. The car was a mobile contamination bin," stated Mr Sammon.

"There is not a scintilla of evidence in terms of motive. We do not have any connection between Keith O'Neill and the Ruger burnt out gun in the car," he continued.

"There is nothing to attach Keith O'Neill to with what was undoubtedly the killing gun."

"You had the statement of the young daughter of the deceased man read to you," he said.

"Her statement was: 'I don't know who the bold boy was that did that to my dad but he was a little bit fat' - that doesn't fit with Mr O'Neill," he said.

"If you want to say 'twill do', to a person accused of murder where the stakes are colossally high, you can," he said.

"Why should you drop your standards just because other professionals have - don't," he concluded.

The trial continues tomorrow before Mr Justice Tony Hunt and a jury of five women and seven men.