Frederick Thompson ‘one of many fingers on trigger’, murder trial hears

Dublin man goes on trial for fatal shooting of David Douglas in Dublin in July 2016

Frederick “Freddie” Thompson: has pleaded not guilty to the murder of David Douglas. Photograph: The Irish Times

Frederick “Freddie” Thompson: has pleaded not guilty to the murder of David Douglas. Photograph: The Irish Times

 

The Special Criminal Court will be asked to infer that one of the “many fingers on the trigger” in the killing of a Dublin shoe shop manager was that of Frederick “Freddie” Thompson.

Sean Gillane SC, prosecuting, was giving his opening speech in the 37-year-old’s trial at the non-jury court on Wednesday.

Mr Thompson, with an address at Loreto Road, Maryland in Dublin, has pleaded not guilty to the murder of David Douglas on July 1st, 2016 on Bridgefoot Street in the city.

The 55-year-old was shot dead shortly after 4pm, as he ate a curry in his partner’s shoe shop, Shoestown. He had been shot six times to the head, neck and throat. A semi-automatic pistol with its serial number removed was found next to his head.

Mr Gillane told the three judges that they would be asked to infer that Mr Thompson and others were acting together in the carefully planned execution of another human being.

“The prosecution does not say he carried out the physical act of killing,” he said. “There was one hand on the gun but many fingers on the trigger, so to speak, and the prosecution case is that one of those belongs to the accused.”

Operating in concert

Mr Gillane explained that the prosecution case was that four vehicles and their occupants were operating in concert that day and that the court would see CCTV footage of their movements.

These included the “ultimate murder vehicle”, the Mercedes that transported the shooter to and from the scene. This was later seen being burnt out, with one of the occupants being burnt in the process.

The other three vehicles included a Ford Fiesta, Mitsubishi Mirage and a Suzuki Swift, the latter also observed being set alight.

“There was a forensic examination of all vehicles,” he said.

He explained the State’s case would be that two finger marks belonging to the accused were found on the rearview mirror of the blue Mirage and that two of his finger marks were found on a card in its glove box. He said that his finger mark was also found on the internal rearview mirror of the Fiesta.

“DNA matching his was found on an inhaler in the blue Mitsubishi and his DNA was also found on an air freshener and hand sanitiser in the Fiesta,” he added.

Heard gunfire

The court then heard from witnesses who heard the gunfire or saw the gunman that afternoon.

Shane Egan told Mr Gillane he was stuck in traffic beside the creche next door to Shoestown.

“A man came around the corner, walking, stopping, just looked unusual,” he recalled. “He stopped at the shoe shop. He walked into the entrance. His back was turned to me. Then I heard about five or six bangs.”

He thought he was hearing fireworks at first.

“He jumped backwards out of the shop. Then, he turned around slowly and walked down the street and started to jog a bit,” he continued. “Straight after that, about five seconds later, I heard a young lady scream.”

The trial continues before Mr Justice Tony Hunt, presiding with Judge Flannan Brennan and Judge Gerard Griffin. It is expected to last up to two weeks.