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Dundon brothers sentenced for making threats to kill

Two Limerick brothers were jailed by the Special Criminal Court in Dublin today for making threats to kill three members of the same family in the city.

Wayne Dundon [pictured] was jailed for six years and his brother John was jailed for five and a half years for making threats to members of the Collins family.

Mr Justice Paul Butler, presiding, said that in Wayne Dundon’s case the threat was more serious because it involved a threat to two offspring.

The two brothers remained impassive when the sentences were handed down.

The court ordered both sentences to date from April 11, 2011 when the brothers were taken into custody.

The Dundons were convicted last month of making the threats after a 10-day trial.

During the trial the court heard that mother-of-three April Collins was in a relationship with Gerard Dundon, a brother of the accused men, for eight years until late 2010.

There was evidence that the catalyst for the threats was an attack on the home of Alice Collins by four women, including John Dundon’s wife Ciara, evening of September 30, 2010.

Ms Collins gave evidence that she called for gardaí to come to the scene and that, as community garda Niamh Keogh walked in to the house, she heard Wayne Dundon ask: “Why are the guards following her in to her house?”

The court heard that sometime after eight o’clock on the same evening Wayne Dundon walked in to Alice Collins sitting room in a “very agitated state” and said his brother John was not happy and would “hunt people down” if his wife Ciara went to jail.

Alice Collins said that Wayne Dundon asked her if her son Jimmy went to a certain local pub every weekend before telling her John Dundon would “give some fool 10 grand” to kill Jimmy.

She said Wayne Dundon then told her: “Well, Gareth will stand in front of me and he’ll look at my face and this will be the last face he’ll see because I’m going to kill him myself”.

As he got up to leave the house, Alice Collins said Wayne Dundon told her: “You are digging your own grave; it’s very easy to make people disappear.”

She said the threats put the “fear of god” in to her, that she was “still not right” and “only living on nerves” since the incident and that she had altered her living habits as a result.

In her evidence to the court, April Collins said that she was at home on Hyde Road on March 25, 2011 when a “very angry” Wayne Dundon entered her home and threatened to kill her, her brother Gareth and her mother Alice Collins.

April Collins told the court that over a week later, on the night of April 3, 2011, she was sitting watching TV on her couch when someone began “bating” down the door.

She said she looked out her sitting room door and could see John Dundon through glass panels on the front door shouting: “I know you’re in there you tramp, I want to see my nephews, when I get you I am going to f***ing kill you.”

Ms Collins said she retired to bed with her children later that night but awoke again at 2am to find John Dundon standing on a shed in her back yard, while another man stood in the garden.

April Collins said that when she asked John Dundon what he was doing there, she was “terrified” to hear him reply: “We’re looking for a good place to bury your mother.”

Reading from a written judgement, presiding judge Mr Justice Paul Butler said the court had been impressed by the “entirely credible and convincing” evidence of Alice Collins and was satisfied beyond a reasonable doubt that Wayne Dundon had intimidated and made threats against her.

He said that, with regard to the three counts against Wayne Dundon of making threats to kill on March 25th, 2011, the court found the evidence of April Collins to be credible.

However, Mr Justice Butler said that a part of her evidence could be construed as demonstrating a lack of fear of the threats “sufficient to cast a doubt” at least on an essential constituent of the offence and, at most, on whether the threats were made at all.

He said that the court found that the actions of John Dundon on the evening and early morning of April 3 and 4, 2011 amounted to “sinister and threatening” actions on his part but that it would be unsafe to construe the words “we’re looking for a place to bury your mother” as a direct threat to kill Alice Collins.

John Dundon smiled and shook his head while the verdicts were read out, while Wayne made little reaction.

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