Murders in Ireland

#21

[FONT=Verdana]From what I’ve seen on this case on the news so far it seems the whole case is based purely on [/FONT][FONT=Verdana]circumstantial evidence. Unfortunately for John O’Brien he is being tried under the new concept in this country of guilty until proven innocent.[/FONT]

#22

First day’s reports - doesn’t look great for your man. He’s certainly an oddball at the very minimum. What’s a “fob” by the way?

Trial told wife disappeared after kissing another man

John O’Brien (41), a bus driver, Ballinakill Downs, Co Waterford, denies murdering Meg Walsh (35) in October 2006. In his opening, Denis Vaughan Buckley SC, prosecuting, told the jury of seven men and five women that Ms Walsh was last seen on October 1st, 2006.

Her body was recovered from the river Suir two weeks later. She had died from severe blunt force trauma to the head and had also received blunt force trauma to her shoulders and right arm.

Mr Buckley said it would hear that she had been drinking with her husband and another man, Owen Walsh, at the bar of the Woodlands Hotel on the night of September 30th. They left the hotel at about 4am and went back to the house Ms Walsh shared with her husband. They continued drinking and Mr Walsh accepted an invitation to stay over.

Mr Buckley told the jury it would hear that as she was showing him the room where he would be sleeping, Ms Walsh kissed Mr Walsh goodnight and he returned the kiss. Mr O’Brien came into the room and asked what was going on. Mr Walsh told him: “It was nothing. It’s just the drink,” but Mr O’Brien ordered him out of the house.

Mr Buckley told the jury that Mr Walsh would say there was aggression in Mr O’Brien’s voice when he ordered him out of the house. From the time Mr O’Brien said she left the house at about 8.30pm on October 1st until her body was recovered on October 15th, he never reported his wife missing, suggested where she could be or gave garda any help to find her.

Mr Buckley said he told garda she had gone before. She had stayed in Jurys Hotel and come back the following day. He said that Mr O’Brien told garda Ms Walsh’s passport was missing but garda searching the house found it in the top draw of her bedside cabinet.

Mr Buckley told the jury it would hear from Ms Walsh’s best friend, Laura Cuddihy, who would tell them that she did not receive replies to text messages she sent to Ms Walsh on the morning of October 1st.

She repeatedly rang Ms Walsh’s phone that evening but couldn’t get any answer.

Eventually she and her partner and two other men walked to the house in Ballinakill Downs. Ms Walsh’s car wasn’t there but Mr O’Brien’s was. Ms Cuddihy would say that she dropped a note into the house which read “How’re ya? Hope you’re well. Called coz yourphone is off. Text me.”

The note was later found ripped up in a wheelie bin.

Mr Buckley said Ms Walsh’s car was found abandoned on October 4th in a local hotel car park. Forensic tests found blood-staining to the inside of the car, the boot and the bumper. DNA testing matched the blood to Ms Walsh and a mixed profile which contained elements found in Mr O’Brien’s profile. A car mat found in the area was found to be stained with Ms Walsh’s blood.

Car keys given to garda by Mr O’Brien were found to be not the spares he said they were but the main keys with a fob to unlock the car. Mr Buckley said CCTV footage of the car being left showed that the car was locked using a key fob, although the quality was not good enough to identify the person using the keys.

He said a second key was found by garda without a key fob, which was found to be the
spare key to Ms Walsh’s car. Mr Buckley told the jury they would be hearing from witnesses who had sold Ms Walsh the silver Mitsubishi Carisma who would testify that only two keys were supplied with the car.

He said Mr O’Brien also asked the Garda family liaison officer about the CCTV footage and whether it was possible to identify the person who locked the car. He said it was the State’s case that Ms Walsh did not drive her car to the car park.

Whoever killed her had disposed of the body before abandoning the car.

He told the jury they would also hear from Ms Walsh’s daughter from her first marriage, Sasha Keating, who would tell them that she received a phone call from Mr O’Brien on October 14th.

He asked her if she was okay and when she asked if she could come round and collect her mother’s things, he paused for a couple of seconds then said: “You can, you can.”

The trial is continues tomorrow before Mr Justice Barry White and the jury. It is expected to last three weeks.

#23

A fob is basically a remote. I have one for the shutter in my workplace.

#24

I know there’s a fair bit of circumstantial evidence in this Meg Ryan case but I can’t help but be perturbed by some of the stuff Gardai get away with saying in court. One of them remarked giving evidence last week that the accused, JohnO’Brien, ‘seemed nervous’ when he was standing by the washing machine when the Gardai called to his house in the days after Meg’s disappearance and the Garda also ‘sensed that he felt uncomfortable when I was standing by it.’ Shit like that is pure guesswork and speculation and trying to lead the jury on to conclude that he murdered her and then washed his clothes to get rid of the evidence based merely on some copper’s whim. By all means talk about his unexplained movements, the incident with the other man in the house the night before she disappeared and stuff like that but crap like what that cop said should be laughed at by the judge.

#25

Agreed fully on that Bandage. Loads of proper circumstantial evidence without the need to rely on a hunch. Of course the Garda is going to say he thought he did it - that’s why they’re bringing the case. It’s not a good enough reason to present as evidence though. Or at least it shouldn’t be.

#26

Is it just me or is there not a slight conflict of interest in the Gardai thats responsible for bringing the case against the guy testifying against him? I know thats par of the course but it’s also unfair.

#27

This Waterford case is nearing a conclusion now. I think they’ve far, far more circumstantial evidence in this one than in the likes of the Kearney and O’Reilly cases so I expect a conviction.

From the indo:

Defence in Meg trial to appeal for withdrawal of the case

By ABIGAIL RIELEY

Friday May 02 2008

The trial of a man accused of murdering his wife has entered its closing stages with the judge due to hear an application to withdraw the case.
Mr Justice Barry White told the jury of seven men and five women that, now the prosecution had completed their case, “the defence are entitled to apply to me to withdraw this case from your deliberations.”

He said that since this application would take some time and would require reviewing some of the evidence in the case, the jury would not be required until Tuesday.

Bus driver John O’Brien (41) of Ballinakill Downs, Co Waterford, denies murdering 35-year-old Meg Walsh on a date between October 1 2006 and October 15 2006.

The mother-of-one’s body was recovered from the River Suir on October 15 2006. She had died from blunt-force trauma to the head.

Examination

Yesterday Detective Garda Anthony Pettite told the Central Criminal Court he examined Ms Walsh’s bank accounts.

He said he had been asked to investigate what had happened to the money from a Christmas saving’s scheme Ms Walsh managed in her job as office manager for Meadow Court homes, known as the Diddly Club.

He said that Ms Walsh had been lodging cash amounts on an almost weekly basis with her wages cheque. Based on a probe of her accounts for 2005 it appeared she used the money for her day-to-day expenses and borrowed on her credit cards to repay people at Christmas.

He said that at the time of her disappearance there was not a substantial amount of money in Ms Walsh’s account. The jury had previously heard that over €12,000 had been collected that year for the Diddly Club.

Det Gda Pettite said that Ms Walsh was the kind of woman who did not use cash. She relied on credit cards. These cards had been found in a wallet in the kitchen of the house she shared with the accused during a garda search.

The jury also heard from Eugene Aylward, a courier, who told Denis Vaughan Buckley, prosecuting counsel, that he had seen Mr O’Brien near the entrance of the Sycamore Estate in Waterford on October 7 2006.

Gardai subsequently found blood covered sections of a car mat and spare wheel cover from Ms Walsh’s car near where Mr Aylward saw Mr O’Brien.

#28

Newsflash

John O’Brien has been found not guilty!

As I said, I thought the circumstantial evidence in this case was far greater than the Kearney and O’Reilly ones but the verdicts are different.

#29

Christ I find that astonishing. Not so much in the context of this trial alone, but considering the recent verdicts otherwise.

#30

as Rock said, precedence in the other cases made this one look like a dead cert he’d be found guilty. Very suprised at it, as are people around Waterford. Neighbour of his from Ballinakill in here cant believe he got away with it, which is how many will view it. The body being moved was key.

#31

Do you mean the body being moved was key to him getting away with it or the body being moved was the key to people knowing who did it?

#32

getting away with it. seems the unknown location of the murder and the unkown time of it is what swung it in his favour, whereas the last 2 similar cases the body was in the house. but in this one, her blood was in her car, which was moved the day she disappeared, and he had the only 2 sets of keys for it. the story ‘there must have been a third set someone else has’ doesnt add up.

#33

A dentist up north seems to have gone on a quality spree. It’s some tangled mess and there’s possibly a touch of the Harold Shipman’s about him:

http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/uk_news/northern_ireland/foyle_and_west/7918346.stm

Dentist in fourth death inquiry

Police have confirmed they are investigating another death in connection with dentist Colin Howell, who has been charged with two murders.

Alexandra Hickman-Smith, 27, was found dead in a caravan in Castlerock last November. Her family was told at the time that she had died from diabetes.

Police said the death was not being treated as suspicious at the moment.

Mr Howell, 50, from Castlerock, is charged with murdering his wife Lesley and RUC officer Trevor Buchanan.

Their bodies were found in a fume-filled car in Castlerock in May 1991, and at the time, a coroner’s court ruled that both had committed suicide.

Mr Buchanan’s former wife Hazel Stewart is also charged with the murders.

Detectives are also re-examining the death of Lesley Howell’s father, Henry Clarke, who died five days before his daughter’s death - apparently from a heart attack or some form of seizure.

A police spokesman said on Monday their investigation remained focused on the double murders but “a number of lines of enquiry are being conducted into a range of other issues and events”.

“Police have a duty to ensure that, in the interests of justice and completeness, every potential line of enquiry is examined,” he added.

Mr Howell, of Sea Road, Castlerock, has also been charged with indecent assault and administering an overpowering drug with intent to commit indecent assault on dates between March 1998 and December 2008.

Last month, at least 200 letters were sent to former patients of Mr Howell by police seeking help with their investigation.

#34

Gruesome murder in Wexford yesterday. A body found in the boot of a burnt out car left abandoned near a roundabout a couple of miles outside town. Apparently the female victim was bound, gagged and left to die. Contrary to reports in the national media, the victim is thought to be a local rather than a foreign national and six people have been arrested, a mix of locals and Eastern Europeans. Drug warfare has come to Wexford. :eek:

#35

So a 38-year seemingly stabbed a 15-year old kid to death in Dublin the other day - it doesn’t get much worse than that.

Knife crime really sickens me - I said before that I think sentences for possession of a knife should be very severe to act as a proper deterrent. Loads of dickheads roaming around carrying knives.

#36

Seems to be racially motivated apparently.

Sick fucks carrying knives anyway.

#37

This is pretty shocking and can’t believe that isn’t getting more exposure. Draws similarites with the Stephen Lawrence case in England back in the early 90s.

#38

Well, the gards were appealing for calm and I see there was a rally held at his school today. Maybe themselves and the papers are worried about race riots kicking off or something like that? Yummy mummys being pulled from their cars at the lights on the Clontarf Road and being kicked in the bottom by the lads selling the Herald, revellers having their hands scalded when they go to wash their hands and gone-off chewing gum/aftershave served to them by toilet attendents in Dublin nightclubs and so on and so forth…

#39

Same here. It’s much, much worse in England though and that could well be the way we’re headed. Especially with the poverty bailing out Anglo is going to bring. Some of the cases you hear about over there are absolutely horrific.

#40

The trial has commenced of the two lads charged with killing a couple of Polish lads 2 years ago in Drimnagh. The apparent random and vicious nature of it shocked me at the time and stabbing someone in the head with a screwdriver is really fucking sick. Just reading about the opening day or so of the trial now and it started off with a disturbance in a take-away and led from there. Obviously the lads wielding weapons are the complete scumbags but sometimes it’s best just to get the fook out a situation.