Saturday 22 July 2017

Detective denies suggestion he refused to allow murder accused to see a solicitor, trial hears

Olivia Dunlea O'Brien from Passage West, Co Cork
Olivia Dunlea O'Brien from Passage West, Co Cork

Eoin Reynolds

A detective garda has denied that he refused to allow a murder suspect see a solicitor and that gardai told the accused what to say when he was interviewed about his girlfriend's death.

Detective Garda James Nagle said he "strongly" denied the suggestions put to him by defence counsel Michael Delaney SC.

Mr Delaney is defending Darren Murphy (40) of Dan Desmond Villas in Passage West, Co Cork. Mr Murphy has pleaded not guilty to the murder of Olivia Dunlea at her home in Pembroke Crescent on February 17, 2013. He pleaded guilty to her manslaughter but his plea was not accepted and he is on trial at the Central Criminal Court.

Det Gda Nagle told the court that it is standard in garda interviews to ask the suspect if they are happy to proceed before questioning begins. He told Mr Delaney that he did not ask that question at the start of the final interview with Mr Murphy, but denied this was because he knew Mr Murphy was not happy to proceed.

Mr Delaney put it to him that in each of the previous four interviews Mr Murphy was asked the question. He replied: "Every member asks questions differently, this was the way I asked on this particular occasion."

When Mr Delaney said that he knew very well that Mr Murphy was not happy to proceed, he said: "I strongly deny that," and added that if Mr Murphy wanted a solicitor he would have been given access to one.

Mr Delaney asked him if he agreed that gardai told Mr Murphy that there was no time to see a solicitor and that they believed he had left things out in his previous interviews.

"No, I would not agree," he responded.

Mr Delaney asked him if a second garda, Sergeant Anthony Harrington, had put it to Mr Murphy that he had tried to smother Olivia and break her neck. Det Gda Nagle said: "No my lord, that did not happen."

The prosecution has finished its evidence and the trial will continue this afternoon in front of Justice Patrick McCarthy and a jury of five women and seven men.

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