SCC to deliver judgement on man accused of possession of firearms and ammunition

SCC to deliver judgement on man accused of possession of firearms and ammunition

The Special Criminal Court will deliver judgement tomorrow morning at the trial of a Dublin man accused of possession of firearms and ammunition.

Pierce Moran (59) of Church Road, East Wall, Dublin 3, is charged with the unlawful possession of various semi-automatic pistols, including an 8mm Knall calibre Valtro model AP29, a 9mm short calibre CZ model 83, a 9mm calibre Makarov PM and a 9mm short calibre Baikal model IZH79-8, as well as a silencer suitable for use with the Makarov pistol and a 12-gauge Beretta model A.300 semi-automatic, sawn-off shotgun at Church Road, East Wall, Dublin 3 on November 15th, 2014. 

Mr Moran is also charged with the possession of various firearm magazines, suitable for use in the pistols from the first charge, at the same address on the same date.

Additionally, he is charged with the possession of assorted ammunition, also at the same address and on the same date. 

The court entered on Mr Moran's behalf pleas of not guilty for each of the three charges on the indictment. 

It is the prosecution's case that members of the Special Detective Unit searched the accused man's home on the day of the alleged offences, while Mr Moran was present, and found a shopping-bag containing pistols and ammunition in a bedroom and a sawn-off shotgun in a room abutting the bedroom. 

Today, the court heard closing speeches from the prosecution and defence.  

Vincent Heneghan BL, for the State, said that on the day in question Mr Moran admitted the gardai into the flat and that during the search a detective found €320 in the same bedroom in which the pistols were found. 

The money was returned to the accused man, Mr Heneghan said.  

He said that the court can draw inferences from Mr Moran's failure during an interview with gardai to give an account for the firearms and ammunition at his home. 

This corroborates the other evidence in the case, the prosecution lawyer said. 

Hugh Hartnett SC, for the accused, said that the prosecution have to prove beyond reasonable doubt that not only did Mr Moran have knowledge of the materials listed in the indictment but also had control over them. 

"The prosecution case depends on circumstantial evidence," he said.  

Mr Hartnett said that there was no evidence that the bedroom in which the pistols were found was occupied by Mr Moran. 

There are two bedrooms in this house, he said, adding that "no evidence whatsoever was given in relation to the second bedroom". 

Mr Hartnett asked, "Is the court entitled to speculate there was no other occupier? That this bedroom was Mr Moran's bedroom?" 

"I submit not," he said.  

Earlier, the court had rejected an application by the defence for a direction on the basis that Mr Moran's flat was a two-bedroom flat and that there was no evidence that the bed where the guns were found was Mr Moran's.

Last week, during the application, Mr Hartnett had said there was no fingerprint or DNA evidence linking the accused man with the bedroom or the firearms. 

Today/Yesterday (Wed), Mr Justice Paul Butler, presiding with Judge Alison Lindsay and Judge Flann Brennan, said that a properly charged jury could find, beyond any reasonable doubt, that the accused man was the occupier of the premises and in control of the bedroom and the abutting room and that he was in possession of the firearms and ammunition found in those rooms. 

The three-judge, non-jury court will deliver judgement on the case tomorrow morning.