David Hunter, with an address on Du Cane Road in White City, London, was one of two armed men in masks who shot the 35-year-old at the Sunset House pub in Dublin’s north city center on April 25, 2016.
In a statement on the impact of the victim, Michael’s sister Noeleen said the father of five children was “gunned down on orders from others” who “paid fools to kill people.”
She also said the family heard about his murder on social media, which they described as “disturbing” and “immoral” and which marked the beginning of a “living nightmare”.
Two armed men, “in kettle suits and full rubber masks,” went into the bar and shot Mr. Barr seven times, five times in the head, once in the leg and once in the shoulder.
The getaway car, a silver Audi A6, arrived on Walsh Road in Drumcondra at 9:20 pm, and three men got out, set the car on fire, got into a “possibly silver” Ford Mondeo and left the scene.
Gardaí arrived and put out the fire, discovering four cannons, including the murder weapon, boiler suits, ski masks, and rubber masks in the back seat.
They also found a ‘Brenner’ phone that had a series of missed calls, next to a bullet in the grass nearby.
Hunter’s DNA was found on two masks, a ski mask and a latex mask, which were discovered in the partially burned-out getaway car after the murder.
He had claimed he had taken the ferry from Liverpool to Ireland two days earlier to see a UB40 concert, but it had already taken place.
The 42-year-old also claimed he left a ski mask with his DNA on it in the getaway car two months earlier when he came to Ireland to steal a car in February of this year.
However, he couldn’t explain why his DNA was found on the latex mask the court wore on the night of the murder.
Hunter received a call from one of the four phones used that night an hour after the murder.
He told gardaí that he had taken a call that evening from a man who wanted to buy his red BMW car, which he brought to Ireland and sold.
The special criminal court found this “unbelievable and untrue”.
The gang was more likely to call Hunter on his personal UK cell phone after the murder that evening when they couldn’t get him on the phone with the dropped burner.
Hunter admitted that he bought a new phone in Holyhead before boarding the ferry to Dublin two days before the murder.
He said that after the murder he sold his car to come to Spain and enroll in a residential rehab program.
However, he spent half the value of the car on two plane tickets to Malaga, including one in Tom Wood’s name that was never used.
The court did not accept that his trip to Dublin was for “one final escape” from rehab, but found that this suspicious activity did not constitute evidence of murder.
Justice Alex Owens today imposed the compulsory prison sentence on Hunter, stating that it was the only sentence open to the court.
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