Vehicle identification expert gives evidence in Louth double murder trial

Central Criminal Court

Natasha Reid

Reporter:

Natasha Reid

Vehicle identification expert gives evidence in Louth double murder trial

A vehicle identification expert has given evidence in a Louth double murder trial at the Central Criminal Court.

The prosecution brought the expert over from the UK to identify vehicles caught on CCTV footage on both sides of the border on the night that two Dublin men were shot dead in Co Louth.

Dubliner Jason O’Driscoll (34), with an address at Richmond Avenue, Fairview, has pleaded not guilty to murdering 31-year-old Anthony Burnett and 25-year-old Joseph Redmond in Ravensdale in Co Louth on March 7th, 2012.

The trial has heard that firefighters were called to a burning car in Ravensdale Forest Park shortly before 11 o'clock that night. The bodies of the two car thieves were discovered inside, with gunshot wounds to their heads.

The jury last week watched CCTV footage of vehicles travelling in the Ravensdale area before 11pm, as well as footage of vehicles moving in the Armagh village of Meigh after 11pm.

Andrew Wooller testified today that Gardaí had contacted him and asked him to assist with the identification of the vehicles captured on the footage.

He explained to Alexander Owens SC, prosecuting, that he was the managing director of a company involved in analysis of imagery, specialising in identification of vehicles from CCTV, and the reconstruction of events from CCTV.

He said he was shown footage of vehicles at both locations, without being told what the Gardaí thought they were.

He outlined a number of features that he noted on the vehicles he saw.

He said he concluded that the large, light-toned car that passed a camera in Ravensdale before 11pm was consistent with a Mercedes and not inconsistent with the Mercedes S Class.

He concluded that the dark-toned hatchback car that followed it four seconds later could be a Volkswagen Golf or two other makes.

He said that, on watching the footage from Meigh, ‘it was immediately apparent’ that the vehicle entering the carpark was a Mercedes.

“The specific shape and features suggest a Mercedes S class, the current model at the time,” he added.

It’s the State’s case that the two shooting victims had stolen a black Volkswagen Golf from a home in Dublin in the early hours of March 7th, and had driven it north that night with the intention of selling it to the accused.

Outlining the prosecution case at the start of the trial, Mr Owens said the two deceased had pulled into a layby at Ravensdale Park around 10.45pm. They were shot in the head and the car set on fire.

The jury heard that a silver, southern-registered Mercedes was found abandoned in the village of Meigh the following morning.

Mr Owens said that this was the stolen car in which the accused and another man had left ‘the assassination’ in Ravensdale the night before.

The trial continues before Mr Justice Patrick McCarthy and the jury of eight men and four women.