Limerick criminal found not guilty of pulling handgun from his pants

David Hurley

Reporter:

David Hurley

Liam ‘Lika’ Casey, pictured after conviction on a firearms offence in 2017, was acquitted of a separate charge this week

Liam ‘Lika’ Casey, pictured after conviction on a firearms offence in 2017, was acquitted of a separate charge this week

A LIMERICK criminal figure who is currently serving a lengthy prison sentence for firearms offences has been acquitted of possession of a handgun almost three years ago.

Liam ‘Lika’ Casey, 34, of Hyde Road, Prospect had pleaded not guilty to a single charge relating to an alleged incident at Caledonian Field, Ballinacurra Weston, on May 6, 2016.

Giving evidence at Limerick Circuit Court Michael Shannon said he was with his girlfriend “chilling out” in an area of waste ground at around 5pm when he saw Mr Casey approaching.

The 23-year-old told John O’Sullivan, BL, prosecuting, the defendant was “keeping a nice little pace” and that he saw him pull “something from his pants” as he approached around 30 metres away.

When asked what the item was he replied: “A black handgun”.

Mr Shannon said he immediately turned and ran away because he was afraid he would be shot.

Cross-examining the witness, Mark Nicholas, SC, suggested his evidence had been an “absolute invention” and that events did not happen as he claimed.

“You want to finger and nail Liam Casey with your invention,” he said.

Mr Nicholas put it to the witness that members of his family were involved in a dispute with his client around the time and that he wanted to “do him down” to help that cause.

Mr Shannon denied this saying he was not involved in any dispute.

Mr Nicholas submitted that CCTV footage recorded a short time after the alleged incident directly contradicted aspects of his evidence.

“You told a lie,” he said.

The witness later confirmed he attended Roxboro Road garda station to carry out some ‘personal business’ at around 6.15pm on May 6, 2016 but did not tell gardai about what had happened. “I felt I would not be believed,” he told Mr Nicholas.

Following less than 30 minutes of deliberations this Wednesday, the jury of seven women and five men returned with a unanimous not guilty verdict.

Mr Casey is currently serving a five year prison sentence following the seizure of a pump-action shotgun at a premises in Bruff on February 26, 2017.