Wayne Cooney found guilty of murdering Jordan Davis as victim pushed his child in pram

Mr Justice Tony Hunt described the recklessness of Cooney in firing eight times while Mr Davis was so close to his infant son as ‘astonishing’

A Dublin man has been found guilty of murdering a dad-of-one by shooting him three times while he pushed his four-month-old son in a pram in broad daylight.

The jury of seven men and four women took just over three hours to find that Wayne Cooney was the cyclist who circled Jordan Davis for three days like a “shark moving towards its prey” before firing eight shots at him from a 9mm pistol. Mr Davis suffered three gunshot wounds including one to the head that killed him instantly.

Following the jury verdict Mr Justice Tony Hunt remanded Cooney (31) in custody ahead of a hearing next Friday morning in which members of the victim’s family will be invited to speak before Cooney is jailed for life.

Mr Justice Hunt thanked the jurors for their hard work in a “distressing” trial and he described the recklessness of Cooney in firing eight times while Mr Davis pushed his son in a pram as “astonishing”. Mr Davis’ mother Sandra Davis, who gave evidence during the trial, was supported by friends and family as the verdict was read out.

The prosecution alleged that Mr Davis owed €70,000 to a local drug dealer, identified only as CD in the trial, who was the brother of Cooney’s then girlfriend. When Mr Davis’s mobile phone was examined by gardaí they found a message from CD warning Mr Davis: “I’m on your case mate, it won’t be long,” and later telling him: “Soon, very soon, bang bang.”

Prosecution barrister Bernard Condon SC told the jury that the circumstantial evidence against Cooney was such that he was either the shooter or the “most unlucky person ever”. A garda had identified Cooney from CCTV footage as the cyclist circling Mr Davis. Cooney’s DNA was found on a glove in an area where the shooter could be seen discarding gloves and a black bodywarmer minutes after the shooting.

Cooney was also identified returning to the same area to retrieve the bodywarmer about one hour and 20 minutes after the shooting.

The prosecution also relied on mobile phone evidence that showed Cooney’s phone was calling CD at moments when the person identified on CCTV as the shooter could be seen holding a phone to his ear.

After the shooting Cooney’s movements were tracked by CCTV as he walked to a nearby bus-stop. Witness Stacey Hayes told the trial she picked Cooney up after hearing about the shooting. Ms Hayes was driving a car with Cooney’s girlfriend in the passenger seat giving her directions. Ms Hayes did not know that Cooney had just murdered Jordan Davis.

Cooney denied to gardaí that he was the person on the bicycle and his barrister, Giollaíosa Ó Lideadha SC, told the jury that the prosecution case contains “large holes” and does not amount to proof beyond reasonable doubt.

He said there could have been a number of people who had a motive to murder Mr Davis and he questioned the credibility of the garda who identified Cooney from CCTV footage. He further questioned the prosecution’s claim that they had proven that the mobile phone belonged to Mr Cooney.

Mr Justice Tony Hunt told the jury that if they were satisfied beyond a reasonable doubt that Cooney was the cyclist who came up behind Jordan Davis and shot him, they must find him guilty of murder.

Cooney, with an address at Glenshane Drive in Tallaght, had pleaded not guilty to the murder of Jordan Davis (22) at a lane-way beside Our Lady of Immaculate National School in Darndale in Dublin on May 22nd 2019. He also pleaded not guilty to possessing a 9mm semi-automatic pistol and to possessing ammunition in circumstances that give rise to the reasonable inference that he did not have them for lawful purposes. The jury convicted him on those counts also.