DNA evidence on a mask and two runners found in the back of a car used by the men who shot Michael Barr dead at the Sunset House pub in 2016 is enough to convict a third man of the murder, has determined by the special criminal court.
Christopher Slator, 37, had denied Mr Barr’s murder and his lawyers argued prosecutors could not prove there was no innocent explanation for how his DNA ended up on the mask and runners.
The three-judge non-jury court today dismissed their arguments, saying there was no reasonable explanation for his DNA being on those items other than that he was guilty of murder.
The court also found that Slator had fled jurisdiction the following day by booking flights to Dubai with Eamon Cumberton, who had previously been convicted of Mr Barr’s murder.
About a month later, the two men returned to Ireland together. Ms Justice Tara Burns said the flight was “extremely unusual” as it was booked three hours before departure and neither Cumberton nor Slator had any luggage or even a rucksack or backpack.
She said the DNA evidence alone was enough to convict Slator, but the “highly suspicious” flight further supported the conviction.
On the night of April 25, 2016, father-of-five Mr. Barr was meeting at the pub where he was a manager when he was shot seven times – five times in the head.
Two armed men had burst in wearing so-called “Freddy Krueger” or Halloween masks.
The trial heard there was “chaos and screams” after the gun killing, which took place during a raffle for the families of Republican prisoners.
Slator will be sentenced to the mandatory life imprisonment later today.
Slator, of Carnlough Road, Cabra, Dublin 7, had pleaded not guilty at the Sunset House Pub on Summerhill Parade, Dublin 1 on 25 April 2016. He is the third man to stand trial in connection with the murder.
Also in November 2020, David Hunter, 43, of Du Cane Road, White City, London, was sentenced to life in prison for the murder of Mr Barr.
Eamon Cumberton, of Mountjoy Street, Dublin 7, was sentenced to life in prison for the 2019 murder.
A fourth man, Martin Aylmer, 36, of Casino Park, Marino, Dublin 3, has been sentenced to just under four years after pleading guilty to buying mobile phones for the gang that murdered Mr Barr. His sentence was later increased to six years by the Court of Appeal.
https://www.independent.ie/news/dna-evidence-on-mask-and-runners-enough-to-convict-a-third-man-of-the-murder-of-michael-barr-special-criminal-court-finds-41842611.html DNA evidence on mask and runner is enough to get a third man convicted of the murder of Michael Barr by the Special Court