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DNA on bullets likely to have come from two men on trial over gang feud shootings, court told

Michael Conroy outside of Newcastle Crown Court Credit: NCJ Media Syndication

DNA likely to have come from men accused over gang feud shootings was found on a bullet in a rifle and a live round discovered at the scene of one of the alleged attacks, a court heard.

Six men are standing trial after the windows of homes in Newcastle were shot at in January last year.

Michael Conroy, Jamie Moran, Kenneth Moran, Darren Appleby, Sean Ree and Bailey Wilson deny a series of firearms offences.

On the fourth day of the trial at Newcastle Crown Court, forensic scientist Sally Hill, a DNA expert, began giving evidence.

She explained how she looked for cellular material deposited on items and sought to extract DNA from the biological material.

A live, unfired round found at the scene of the shooting at Oakfield Gardens, Benwell, was swabbed and chemicals were applied to try to get a DNA profile from it.

Mrs Hill said a low level mixed DNA profile was obtained which was found to have three contributors.

The profile of Jamie Moran was represented such that he could be considered to be the contributor of the majority of the DNA present.”

– Sally Hill, Forensic Scientist
Jamie Moran Credit: NCJ Media Syndication

The scientist told the court she can’t say for certain that the DNA came from Jamie Moran but the results were evaluated statistically using computer software.

Mrs Hill said two propositions were looked at, the first being that the DNA came from Jamie Moran and two unknown individuals and the second that it came from three unknown individuals who are unrelated to Jamie Moran.

The findings are in the order of one billion times more likely if the first proposition were true than the second proposition."

– Sally Hill, Forensic Scientist

A 22 bullet cartridge found in the chamber of a rifle discovered under floorboards at Wingrove Avenue, Fenham, was also swabbed for DNA.

A low level mixed DNA profile from two individuals was found on it and Mrs Hill said:

In my opinion the DNA profile of Michael Conroy is represented in that he could have contributed the majority of the DNA."

– Sally Hill, Forensic Scientist
Kenneth Moran outside Newcastle Crown Court Credit: NCJ Media Syndication

The scientist has not finished her evidence but the case had to be adjourned early after two jurors reported feeling unwell.

Kenneth Moran, 27, of Caroline Cottages, Slatyford, Newcastle, Michael Conroy, 36, of Heathfield Crescent, Cowgate, Newcastle, Darren Appleby, 23, of Deepdale Crescent, Cowgate, Jamie Moran, 28, of Whickham View, Newcastle, Sean Ree, 25, of Coach Road, Wallsend, and Bailey Wilson, 21, of Cartmell Green, Slatyford, all deny conspiracy to possess a firearm with intent to endanger life in relation to the Brunswick shooting.

Ree has pleaded guilty to the lesser alternative of conspiracy to possess a firearm with intent to cause fear of violence, which the others deny.

Appleby, Conroy and Jamie Moran deny conspiracy to possess a firearm with intent to endanger life in relation to the Benwell shooting and they deny the alternative of conspiracy to possess a firearm with intent to cause fear of violence.

Conroy also denies possessing ammunition, namely a 22 bullet, without a certificate.

Appleby and Jamie Moran deny possessing a firearm without a certificate, namely a pump-action rifle, and possessing ammunition without a certificate, namely 22 bullets.

Ree denies criminal damage in relation to the alleged attack on Cafe West on October 13.

The trial continues.