Special Criminal Court judges this evening found two men guilty of the murder of Barry Wolverson, who died after more than a year in a coma after a shooting in north Co Dublin.
The murder trial learned that at the time of the shooting Mr Wolverson was a businessman who had rented space at Madigan’s Yard in Swords. His partner is expecting a child.
Mr Wolverson and Gerard Wildman were in a car in the yard just before noon when Mr Wolverson was shot “multiple times”. Mr Wolverson eventually died of cardiac arrest after being treated in a residential care facility while in a comatose state.
The two men, Robert Redmond, 34, of Streamville Road, Kilbarrack, Dublin 5, and Bernard Fogarty, 34, residing at Cromcastle Court, Kilmore, Coolock, Dublin 5, have both been charged with the murder of Mr Wolverson at Madigan Yard, Kileek Lane, Swords, Co Dublin, around midday on 17th January 2020.
The two men were originally charged in April last year in a non-assize court in the attempted murder of Mr Wolverston, who died in a coma on February 21, 2021 after a 13-month hospitalization.
Redmond could only be known as “AB” at the trial as he had other matters pending before the courts which have since been handled.
Both men were found guilty on the same day at Madigan’s Yard of assault that caused damage to Gerard Wildman, who was also shot.
Mr. Wildman, who was shot in the lower back, refused to testify to Gardaí on the matter.
Delivering a lengthy ruling in the Special Criminal Court today, Judge Michael MacGrath said there was no reasonable possibility that anyone other than the two men could have been involved in the murder.
Mr Justice McGrath said that the evidence, when considered in its entirety, led to no conclusion other than that the two men were guilty on all counts, further alleging possession of a deadly firearm and possession of ammunition at Madigan’s Yard on 17 April January 2020 for both men included .
Mr Justice McGrath said Redmond’s hands and clothing were subjected to forensic analysis by Gardaí, who found gun discharge residue on his jacket. dr Forensic Science Ireland’s John O’Shaughnessy had described this as “very strong” support for the position that Redmond was the shooter.
No gun residue was found in relation to Fogarty, which Dr. O’Shaughnessy called “moderate support” for not being the shooter.
The trial had heard from prosecutor Paul Greene SC who said the case against the two men was a “case of circumstance” but the court had no doubt as to their guilt based on forensic evidence relating to gunshot residue. The lawyer also said the two were captured on CCTV on the day of the shooting as they moved “in tandem”.
Today Mr Justice MacGrath said he was satisfied with the evidence regarding Mr Fogarty’s collection of a jerrycan and purchase of firewood, both of which were captured on CCTV and of the couple burning out a Citroen C4 at Greenwood Estate, Dublin 13 minutes, were used after shooting.
Mr Justice MacGrath said Gardaí viewed over 1,700 hours of CCTV footage while investigating the case, following the movements of Mr Fogarty’s Renault Megane and Citroen C4 between Madigan’s Yard and Greenwiew Estate on 16 and 17 January 2020.
He said he was pleased that Mr Fogarty was seen on camera buying three fire logs from a County K petrol station the day before, one of which was later found in Mr Fogarty’s Megane while the other two were found partially burned in the Citroen were had cloned disks.
Gardaí arrested Fogarty around 12:25 p.m., half an hour after the shooting, and noticed a smell of gasoline coming from his sweatpants and that he had a lighter in his hand.
The court also heard that after his arrest, Fogarty attempted to wash his hands with Lynx shower gel at Coolock Garda Station before forensic tests could be carried out.
The judge said the court was entitled to reach conclusions after Fogarty “deliberately” refused to account for his presence near the scene of the fire or for the presence of the Zip firewood in his own car.
Judge MacGrath said being entitled to draw inferences from Fogarty’s silence did not in itself constitute his guilt, but that any inference could be used to support other evidence in court.
The judge said the court accepted that no firearm was ever recovered in the case and that neither man’s DNA was found on bullets found at the scene. He added that any reasonable doubt in the case must be decided in favor of the accused.
Mr Justice MacGrath said the court had to “resign to see the combined force of all circumstantial evidence” in the case.
He said that Fogarty and Redmond were arrested around 12.25pm that day about 300 meters from the burning Citroen and that he had to take into account their proximity and connection to the day’s events.
Mr Justice MacGrath said he was pleased Redmond and Fogarty were in each other’s company that day and were present in the courtyard in the Citroen, which was caught on camera entering and re-entering the courtyard after Mr Wolverson before midday had driven in.
He said he was satisfied that Fogarty was the driver and Redmond his passenger that day, with no other person present in the car.
Mr Justice MacGrath said the person who set the Citroen on fire did so on purpose and Fogarty was seen retrieving the canister from his sister’s house before gardaí arrested and noticed him near the scene that he smelled of accelerant.
In an interview, Redmond claimed that unknown people were framing him for something he didn’t do.
However, the judge said he was satisfied that gun residue was discovered on Redmond’s hoodie when he was arrested eight minutes after the burning car was discovered, and the court charged him with the murder of Mr Wolverson and the assault that Mr Wilder Mann .
The judge said he took into account the extent of Fogarty’s involvement in the “common purpose joint venture”.
Mr MacGrath said Fogarty could not be considered merely an accomplice in the car burnout. The judge said Fogarty knew what was going to happen beforehand and preplanned with Redmond, making him as liable for the murder as his co-defendant.
Fogarty was “very much involved in the events leading up to the shooting” and his role “was not limited to the aftermath when he was actively involved in the destruction of the Citroen,” the judge said.
The judge said both men were guilty of a common plan to kill or seriously injure Mr Wolverson and that there was “no reasonable possibility of any other conclusion”.
He then found both men guilty on all charges.
Dean Kelly SC, for Redmond, had said there was “nothing, not one iota of clear evidence” to say his client was at Madigan’s yard at the time of the shooting. He said a balaclava found at the scene of the burned out Citroen C4 contained someone else’s DNA and could not be traced back to either his client or Mr Fogarty.
Mr Kelly said prosecutors were “jumping” to a theory that only two men were involved in the shooting, which was “not true”.
He said it was “not possible” to rule out the presence of another person, there was no identification of his customer in the Citroen C4 and there was no video surveillance inside or outside the car to prove it.
Mr Kelly said prosecutors had not put forward a motive for the shooting to Redmond and that his client had no “animus” towards Mr Wolverson. He said gunshot residue on his client’s jacket could have been there “indefinitely” had the garment not been disturbed, as demonstrated by forensic experts during the case.
He said gunshot residue could also be carried over, as it was most effectively left on clothing, and that jacket “contamination” was also possible if it was transported in a Garda vehicle that could contain firearms.
Seamus Clarke SC, representing Mr Fogarty, said it was “unclear” from the evidence whether there were one or two people in the Citroen used in the shooting and reiterated that the balaclava worn by nearby of the burned-out Citroen was found to have “no DNA from either of them”.
He said his client smelled of petrol when he was arrested, but that there was no gunshot residue on Mr Fogarty’s clothing, which “hadn’t been a better holder” of such residue.
Mr Clarke said that while his client refused to answer questions from Gardaí, other people also frustrated Garda processes. He said even if the evidence suggests Mr Fogarty was present when the Citroen burned out, there was no evidence Mr Fogarty did it for a “homicidal purpose”.
Mr Clarke had told the court to “beware of a bird’s eye view” from prosecutors who stopped Mr Fogarty from not being in the car. The lawyer said that even if he was found guilty of being an “additional accomplice” in relation to the Citroen burning, the court must acquit his client of being a “principal culprit”.
https://www.independent.ie/irish-news/crime/robert-roo-redmond-and-brendan-fogarty-guilty-of-murdering-barry-wolverson-in-dublin-shooting-42197615.html Robert “Roo” Redmond and Brendan Fogarty guilty of murdering Barry Wolverson in Dublin shooting