November 1st, 2014

Zambra cleared of gangland murder in Grumpy Jack's Pub

Christopher Zambra was cleared of the murder of John Carroll
Christopher Zambra was cleared of the murder of John Carroll
Champagne John Carroll
Champagne John Carroll

A FORMER Irish youth international soccer star has been found not guilty of the murder of drug trafficker John ‘Champagne’ Carroll following a retrial in the Central Criminal Court.

Christopher Zambra (38), of Galtymore Road, was cleared of murder after a jury rejected the evidence of supergrass witness Joey ‘The Lips’ O’Brien.

It was the second time Zambra had gone on trial for the murder of Carroll, who was shot dead in Grumpy Jacks pub in the Coombe on February 18, 2009.

In July 2011, Peter Kenny from Rialto in Dublin was found guilty of Carroll’s murder but the jury failed to reach a verdict on Zambra and a retrial was ordered.

During the original trial, two other accused - Damien Johnston from Crumlin and Bernard Hempenstall from The Coombe - were found not guilty.

On the night he was shot dead, John Carroll had with him a tick list of drug debtors and creditors who owed him €243,000.

The 33-year-old father was shot dead by a heavily disguised gunman who arrived at Grumpy Jack's pub, chased him and shot him several times.

The original trial had heard how strict garda guidelines may not have been adhered to when 'supergrass' Joey O'Brien was interviewed by detectives.

The eight women and four men of the jury acquitted Mr Zambra today, after four-and-a-half hours of deliberations.

A woman stood up and shouted abuse at them as they delivered their majority verdict of ‘not guilty’.

“May God forgive you,” she said.

Mr Zambra hugged his family and members of his legal team before walking free following the two-month trial at the Central Criminal Court.