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€3,000 in pocket Man found in cabin with a loaded semi-automatic weapon under sofa, court told


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Trevor Byrne has pleaded not guilty

Trevor Byrne has pleaded not guilty

Trevor Byrne has pleaded not guilty

ARMED gardaí found a Dublin man in a back garden cabin sitting on a couch, beneath which they found a loaded semi-automatic weapon, the Special Criminal Court has heard.

The accused man, Trevor Byrne (40), also had more than €3,000 in his pocket, his trial opening heard yesterday.

Mr Byrne, of Cappagh Road, Finglas, Dublin 11, has pleaded not guilty to possessing a semi-automatic weapon, ammunition and cash at Woodford Grove, Clondalkin, Dublin 22, all on November 15, 2019.

Mr John Byrne BL, opening the case for the State, said that the court will hear that on foot of a warrant, two units of the Emergency Response Unit (ERU) gained entry to the Woodford Grove property on the night of November 15.

Counsel said that two men, one of whom was Trevor Byrne, were found at a rear garden cabin building, or "seomra", behind the house and were detained.

Trevor Byrne was questioned by gardaí at Clondalkin garda station for the alleged possession of the semi-automatic weapon.

Mr Byrne told presiding Judge Mr Justice Tony Hunt that one ERU team entered through the front of the house at Woodford Grove while the other went around the side and used a ladder to get into the back garden.

Mr Byrne said that the ERU found Trevor Byrne in the cabin sitting on a couch, under which a loaded 9mm Luger-calibre Radom was later found.

Counsel said detectives found one round in the gun's chamber and five in the magazine.

Detective Sergeant Darragh Kenny executed the search warrant and Detective Garda Jerome Twomey found the weapon under the couch.

Counsel said Det Gda Tom Anderson found the sum of €3,050 in Trevor Byrne's front pocket.

Counsel said that a search of the cabin uncovered two further rounds of 9mm ammunition located in a shoe box next to a sink.

Mr Byrne said that the gun was swabbed by forensic teams and revealed a mixed DNA profile, with one DNA profile believed to be "a majority in the mixed profile".

He said it would be the State's case that this majority DNA profile matched that of Trevor Byrne. A sample of the accused man's DNA was taken at Clondalkin garda station before interview.

Mr Byrne said that a pair of gloves, a hold-all and a balaclava found in the cabin were also swabbed and that the State would also make the case that Trevor Byrne's DNA was also present on these items.

CCTV footage from two cameras at the house was also seized.

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The State, counsel said, would also make the case that a fingerprint found on the shoe-box matched that of the accused.

Counsel said the State's case would be made of strands taken from the evidence from the cabin, forensics, ballistics, fingerprints and from what could be inferred from garda interviews.

Mapping of the area and photography of the cabin were handed in as evidence to the three-judge court.

Mr Byrne is accused of possession of a 9mm Luger-calibre Radom 35, possession of six rounds of 9mm ammunition and separate possession of two rounds of 9mm ammunition, all contrary to Section 27A (1) of the Firearms Act.

He is also accused of possessing €3,050 in cash which he was reckless towards, believed to be, or knew were the proceeds of criminal conduct.

The accused, who appeared in a navy top and grey tracksuit bottoms and is represented by Mr Conor Devally SC, spoke only to answer "not guilty" when all four charges were put to him.

Mr Justice Hunt, presiding alongside Ms Justice Sarah Berkeley and Mr Justice Michael Walsh, adjourned matters to Tuesday, November 24.

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