Jury to consider Kill false imprisonment charge

A set of car keys that went missing during a raid on a woman’s Kildare home were found in an accused man’s car, a trial has heard.

A set of car keys that went missing during a raid on a woman’s Kildare home were found in an accused man’s car, a trial has heard.

Darren Doody (42) of Oriel Street, Dublin 1 has pleaded not guilty to falsely imprisoning Ashling Heneghan at Rochford Park in Kill on October 29, 2006.

He is alleged to have been one of four masked men who held the woman prisoner as they searched her house for money. Dublin Circuit Criminal Court heard she was tied up with a phone cable and pyjamas as the raider’s fled.

Detective Sergeant Cormac Brennan told prosecuting counsel, Tara Burns BL, that he spotted a Skoda Octavia on the M50 motorway after the alleged incident. When he pulled it over he found Mr Doody in the driver’s seat and three male passengers.

Det Gda Paul Fahy gave evidence that a search of the car revealed two balaclavas and several pairs of gloves. Four sets of car keys were also found including one for a BMW 5 series car which matched those of the victim’s live-in boyfriend, William Ward.

Ms Heneghan told the jury that after the raiders left she noticed the BMW keys were gone.

She also said she made two phone calls after the incident, one to her boyfriend and one to directory enquires to be put through to the local garda station. Phone records show the first of these calls were made at 9.53pm.

Ms Burns said CCTV stills from the toll bridge on the M50 showed the Skoda car driving towards Dublin at 10.07pm. The jury were told it took 18 minutes to get from Kill to the toll bridge.

In her closing speech at the conclusion of the evidence, Ms Burns told the jury that although all the evidence against Mr Doody was circumstantial; when it is taken together it is enough to confirm his guilt.

Defence counsel, Bernard Condon SC, told the jury that his client is innocent until proven guilty.

“We are not in the business of selling tabloid newspapers and saying, smoke, ergo there must be fire,” he said in his closing speech.

He compared convicting his client without proper evidence to something that would happen to a Syrian caught by the Syrian army in the city of Homs.

“We don’t convict people on suspicion or finger pointing or supposition, but on evidence.”

He accepted the balaclavas in the car could be viewed as suspicious but said there are many possible explanations for them. He also pointed out that a screwdriver and wrench which were used in the raid were not found in the car.

Mr Condon concluded his speech by telling the jury there was no forensic evidence in the case linking Mr Doody to the incident.

The jury of five men and seven women will hear directions from Judge Patrick McCartan today (Friday) before beginning their deliberations.