Northern Ireland

Massereene murders trial: Getaway car photos shown

Patrick Azimkar (left) and Mark Quinsey
Image caption Patrick Azimkar (left) and Mark Quinsey were murdered in March 2009

The trial of two men accused of killing two soldiers in March 2009 has heard from crime scene investigators who examined the getaway car.

Colin Duffy and Brian Shivers deny murdering Sappers Patrick Azimkar, 21, from London and Mark Quinsey, 23, from Birmingham, at Massereene Army base.

The getaway car was found partially burned on the Ranaghan Road in Randalstown after the Antrim attack.

Photographs showing the contents of the car were shown to the court.

In them, were a holdall in the boot containing balaclavas and camouflage clothing, a coffee jar in the glove compartment which contained ammunition and two mobile phones in the central console.

There was also a photograph of the footwell showing other items but during cross-examination of the crime scene manager, Mr Duffy's defence lawyer asked her to explain why there was no photograph of the tip of a latex glove at the centre of the case against his client.

Glove tip

It is the crown's case that Mr Duffy's DNA was found on the tip of the glove discovered in the passenger footwell of the getaway car, therefore linking him to the attack.

The crime scene manager said it was unusual for photographs to be taken of the interior of a car like this, normally they would be taken during an examination by crime scene investigators at a specialist police garage, but she had asked for them because she had planned to remove some of the items immediately.

A CSI officer told the court that he had remembered seeing the tip of a latex glove in the car when he examined it at Ranaghan Road but had not put it in his original statement.

Mr Duffy's lawyer Barry McDonald QC put it to him that there was no record of him seeing the tip of the glove in any of his notes.

The lawyer put it to the officer that he had only made a statement about the latex glove on Monday, two and a half years after the event.

The officer said: "I didn't think it was relevant."

He said at the time he thought it may have come from the army bomb officer who had made the area safe and it was only during the trial that he realised its relevance to the case.

DNA on handbrake

The trial also heard from a vehicle recovery man who worked for the police.

Image caption Colin Duffy (left), 43, from Lurgan, and Brian Shivers, 46, from Magherafelt, deny any role in the March 2009 murders

He took the car from the scene on a trailer to a specialist police garage in Londonderry.

The court heard that his DNA was later found on the handbrake of the car despite him testifying that he had been wearing forensic protective clothing and gloves.

He said he had not driven the car and his only explanation was that his suit had come away from his gloves as he searched down the side of the seats while looking for a lost exhibits label and that his DNA had transferred to the handbrake from his exposed clothes.

This was dismissed by Mr Shivers' lawyer Pat O'Connor QC who said the only logical explanation was that he had actually been in the car to see if it would start.

The two soldiers were shot dead while they collected pizzas outside the base. A number of other people were injured.

Mr Duffy, 43, from Lurgan and Magherafelt man Mr Shivers, 46, also deny six charges of attempted murder and one of possession of guns and explosives.

The trial continues.

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