Life in prison for gun murder of man in car


A DUBLIN man has been sentenced to life in prison after he was found guilty of shooting dead a father of one.

Jonathan Douglas (27), aka “Yuka”, of O’Devaney Gardens, Dublin, had pleaded not guilty at the Central Criminal Court to the murder of Aidan Byrne at Drumalee Avenue on February 20th, 2010.

The jury of seven men and five women returned a majority verdict of 11-1 after three hours and 45 minutes of deliberations after the 11-day trial. Mr Justice Paul Carney thanked the jury and exempted them from jury duty for life.

The judge sentenced Douglas immediately after the jury returned its verdict. He remanded him to reappear before the court next Monday for the deceased man’s family to prepare a victim impact statement.

The jury heard Douglas, who has 94 previous convictions including one for dangerous driving causing death, was hired to kill 31-year-old Mr Byrne, a front-seat passenger in a Toyota Corolla car which was driven by another man to a laneway in Drumalee estate near the North Circular Road.

Douglas waited for the car and then walked up to it, firing 10 bullets through the passenger window. The bullets hit the victim in the chest and abdomen.

Mr Byrne was attended to by paramedics who attempted to resuscitate him after he went into cardiac arrest. He was brought to the Mater hospital but was pronounced dead at 9.24pm.

During the trial, two prosecution witnesses, Stacey Douglas, a step-niece of Jonathan Douglas, and her boyfriend Andrew Sheridan, retracted statements implicating Douglas, but Mr Justice Carney allowed the statements be submitted to the court.

Both Ms Douglas and Mr Sheridan told gardaí Douglas called to their house a short time after the shooting and admitted killing Mr Byrne. They told gardaí he showed them the gun, washed himself and then left the house.