Killer caged | 

Judge warns about ‘sad lesson’ of drug crime as he jails man for murdering dad Jordan Davis (22)

Before sentencing, Mr Davis's mother Sandra Davis, described her son as "our gentle giant".

Wayne Cooney (left) and Jordan Davis (right)

Sandra Davis, the mother of Jordan Davis, leaving the Central Criminal Court after Wayne Cooney was found guilty of the murder of Jordan Davis. PIC: Collins Courts

Eoin ReynoldsSunday World

During a sentence hearing for an "extremely dangerous individual" who shot a man dead while he pushed his four-month-old son in a pram, a judge has called for the higher courts to put an end to "spurious" legal arguments that he said are causing a "shocking waste of public money".

Before the trial of drug dealer Wayne Cooney (31), who was this week convicted of the murder of 22-year-old Jordan Davis, Cooney's lawyers argued that CCTV evidence that was vital in securing his conviction should be excluded from the evidence.

Mr Justice Tony Hunt today said the arguments regarding CCTV, which are made in "trial after trial", are "the most spurious arguments devised by man or beast". He added: "Almost every trial is bedeviled by these arguments based on privacy which have nothing to do with the investigation of serious crime." The judge said he is not aware of any system in the world that would deny itself of CCTV evidence that can be used to further investigations into serious crime and to prosecute those responsible.

Calling on the Court of Appeal to rule on the use of CCTV, he added: "It is long overdue that the appellate courts put these arguments out in the garbage where they belong. The people who put them forward have no interest in privacy other than to prevent prosecution and detection. Privacy has nothing to do with investigations and prosecutions of serious crime and it is about time these barnacles were scraped from the boat."

The judge paid tribute to the work of An Garda Siochana for their "laborious and painstaking" work in finding and prosecuting Cooney. He also commented that Mr Davis's death served as a "sad lesson" on the dangers of getting involved in drug crime. The trial heard that before the murder a local drug dealer threatened to kill Mr Davis because the deceased owed him €70,000.

Although Mr Davis was involved in crime, Mr Justice Hunt said that should be dealt with by the police and courts and "not barbarians running around brandishing semi-automatic pistols and discharging them in the vicinity of innocent men, women and children."

He said Mr Davis had a right to life and his family and society have the right to a "proper investigation and prosecution of this monstrous outrage".

Giollaiosa O Lideadha SC, who defended Cooney, said the arguments made during legal argument were not spurious and had been put forward by "conscientious counsel".

Mr Justice Hunt sentenced Cooney to the mandatory term of life imprisonment for murder, saying that Cooney is "obviously an extremely dangerous individual". He said he should not be considered for release until that danger is negated "long in the future".

Sandra Davis, the mother of Jordan Davis, leaving the Central Criminal Court after Wayne Cooney was found guilty of the murder of Jordan Davis. PIC: Collins Courts

He noted that Cooney had fired eight times, striking Mr Davis three times, and was "astonishingly reckless" as to the danger posed to Mr Davis's baby and another child who happened to be cycling through the lane when Cooney opened fire.

The judge sentenced Cooney to 13 years each for possession of the firearm and ammunition he used to murder Mr Davis. Those sentences will run concurrently with the life sentence.

The court also heard that Cooney has 21 previous convictions including one for possession of drugs for sale or supply.

Before sentencing, Mr Davis's mother Sandra Davis, described her son as "our gentle giant". She said: "We miss you so much, our hearts are broken without you." She said the family would always talk about him to ensure that his young son "will always know how great you were. You were a great dad right up to the day you were taken from us in such a cruel way. He is like you in so many ways but has been robbed of your love. We were all robbed of your love."

She said that 'Jordo' loved big hugs and would always kiss her on the cheek when he saw her. "You had a smile that would light up a room and your life ended too soon," she said.

Cooney, with an address at Glenshane Drive in Tallaght, had 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 22 2019. He 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. A jury took just a little over three hours to find him guilty following a trial that ended earlier this week.


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