Louth double murder trial hears mobile phone records

Analyst gives evidence in Ravensdale Forest murder trial

Natasha Reid


Natasha Reid

Louth double murder trial hears mobile phone records

THE jury in a Louth double murder trial has been hearing the results of mobile phone data analysis in the case.

A senior crime and policing analyst with An Garda Síochána was in the witness box for the second day today (Thursday, November 23) in the trial of a 34-year-old Dublin man, charged with murdering two car thieves.

Jason O’Driscoll, 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 Co Louth on March 7th, 2012.

The Central Criminal Court 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 Dubliners were discovered inside, with gunshot wounds to their heads.

Analyst Eddie McGoey had told Alexander Owens SC, prosecuting, that his objectives were to show contact between eight phone numbers of interest on the day of the killing. These included phones attributed to the deceased.

He prepared a chart that summarised the contacts for the jury. He included CCTV footage showing the movement of people near a payphone of interest in a Newry hotel that evening, and showing phone credit being purchased in Mulkerns Eurospar in Newry on other occasions.

He also showed where the Meteor top-up number had been dialled by two of the numbers during times covered in the shop footage. These were referred to in court as the Mulkerns numbers.

Under cross examination by Seán Guerin SC, defending, today, he was provided with another table of mobile phone data, prepared by the defence.

The jury had already heard that lengthy phone calls were taking place between a phone attributed to Mr Burnett and the phone of a witness in the case that evening.

Mr McGoey agreed that this new table showed that these calls were followed by contact between the phone attributed to Mr Burnett and an unknown number with which he he had not been in contact for the previous six weeks, the period for which records were available.

Mr McGoey said that the Gardaí hadn’t furnished him with the records for that unknown number, so he hadn’t included them in his original table.

It was put to him that the consequence of not having the records meant that potentially significant information about that phone was not available.

“Potentially,” he replied.

He agreed that “in theory” that unknown number could have been using the same cell sites as the phones attributed to the two deceased that evening.

He also agreed that the unknown number did not feature in the records of the two Mulkerns numbers.

Under re-examination by Mr Owens, he agreed that the records showed that one of the Mulkerns numbers had not been used at all during the time covered by Mr Guerin’s table.

The trial continues on Tuesday before Mr Justice Patrick McCarthy, who today told the jury that he felt the case was moving towards a close.