Saturday 21 October 2017

Graham Dwyer Trial: Elaine O'Hara's profile on fetish website viewed nearly 10,000 times

Gardai obtained information from Elaine's laptop, Central Criminal Court told

Andrew Phelan and Sarah Stack

ELAINE O’Hara’s profile on a fetish website was viewed nearly 10,000 times at one point, while she had 25 “friends” and had blocked or de-friended others, the Central Criminal Court has heard.

The records on www.Alt.com were retrieved from one of her computers by gardai investigating her disappearance and death.

Graham Dwyer
Graham Dwyer
Graham Dwyer

The jury in the Graham Dwyer trial was also told of two “diary” entries on the computer from 2010 in which Ms O’Hara spoke of her loneliness and the urge to cut herself.

The jury heard this as Detective Garda Brid Wallace of the Computer Crime unit was cross-examined today by Remy Farrell SC, for the defence.

Read more here: Ghosts of Elaine and Dwyer's past emerge in court  

Mr Dwyer (42), an architect of Kerrymount Close, Foxrock, is pleading not guilty to the murder of Ms O’Hara (36) at Killakee, Rathfarnham on August 22, 2012.

Elaine O'Hara
Elaine O'Hara
Elaine O'Hara

Ms O’Hara, a childcare assistant from Killiney, was last seen alive near Shanganagh Cemetery in Shankill that day.

Her remains were found by a dog walker in undergrowth in the Dublin mountains on September 13, 2013.

The prosecution maintains Mr Dwyer killed her for his own sexual gratification.

Read more here: 'I'm always thinking of you' - email from 'architect' to Elaine 

Det Gda Wallace was cross-examined about data retrieved from a blue HP notebook computer. She agreed with Mr Farrell that there were several headshot photographs of people Ms O’Hara had contact with on Alt.com.

She also isolated maps that had been downloaded from Google Maps of areas in the Dublin Mountains including Cruagh and Killakee Woods.

She had been unable to determine when they had been downloaded as they had not date and time stamp.

Read more here: Techniques on how to pick and kill a target among files on laptop 

She agreed with Mr Farrell that a map of Stackstown Golf Club was last accessed on November 20, 2010 and this related to a “similar area.”

The court heard Det Gda Wallace rebuilt pages from Alt.com and was able to see that Ms O’Hara had viewed the profile of someone called masturbate4menow, who was a 38-year-old man from somewhere in Dun Laoghaire-Rathdown.

She also came across evidence of a user called kinkycasper4, who was blocked by Ms O'Hara after initial contact.

Read more here: 'Graham would pretend to stab me during sex'  

Another blocked profile was daddy99995.

The court then heard of usernames associated with men she had had met and who previously gave evidence.

Det Gda Wallace came across a group that Ms O’Hara had joined called “degradedc***house” on which Ms O’Hara’s profile was viewed 766 views and 11 “hotlists”.

Read more here: 'Erased' data helps jurors to build picture of Elaine's life 

She had 25 friends on the network, Det Gda Wallace agreed, and at some point after a date in 2010, her profile on another page had 9,624 views

Reading from the “dear diary-type entries”, found on an accessible part of the hard drive, Mr Farrell said the first, on November 12, 2010 began: “Dear Diary, I’m just after doing a day’s work and I’m knackered.”

She stated: “I want to cry and I don’t know why”, adding that she is “p***ed off and angry” because she is lonely.

“I’m really lonely, I can’t talk to anyone because they will say it’s my fault and I haven’t done enough,” the entry stated.

She said she “watched everything” and saw the way other people interacted and acknowledged that “you need to practice" and if you observe "practice makes perfect."

“I just seem to put my foot in it all the time,” she said.

She said she felt the need to cut and wanted the urge to go away.

“I want to cut and my mouth waters at the thought of a cigarette, and the smell,”I just want it to go.”

In the second, she began: “Dear Diary, Oh my God, I am angry and tired.”

She went on to say she was upset about everything that was going on in her head and “I just don’t know where I am anymore.”

“It’s not only in my head, it’s everywhere - emotions, etc,” Mr Farrell read from the diary.

The court heard Ms O’Hara had two, and possibly three, profiles on Alt.com dating back as 2006.

Det Wallace confirmed that the profile image used by Ms O’Hara on her Alt.com profile ‘helpmelearn’ - with her hands bound behind her back – was also used for her ‘suborslaveforyou’ profile and was in existence from at least May 11, 2008.

She agreed with Mr Farrell that ‘submissive391’ was also possibly her third profile, but could not confirm if ‘submissive391391’ was the same or a fourth profile.

“Ultimately the submissive391 username seems to be used in connection with Alt.com as far back as 2006,” Mr Farrell said.

“Yes,” the detectives replied, also agreeing that ‘suborslaveforyou’ appeared to be registered username from October 2008.

The court heard there was evidence Ms O’Hara had viewed a lot of profiles, with fragments of a conversation from January 3, 2008, referring to a “making secret plans for Christmas,” Mr Farrell said.

Messages showed Ms O’Hara was planning to meet masterslutmaker@hotmail.com on a Saturday or a Sunday and asked “how she was doing practicing her masturbating”, he said.

There were similar communications on July 20, 2008, with talloth@hotmail.com in which a document recovered read: “Master, I wish to be your total property online for training, use and abuse”, and a reference that Ms O’Hara’s sister had been being taken to hospital.

There were also traces of conversations with other men, including a man called Ken, 35, from Dublin who revealed personal details about himself and set out what he expects in a sexual way from a dominant submissive relationship, the court heard.

Communications with Mastervapour on two dates in July 2008 included a message from Ms O’Hara saying she was turned down five times after showing men her photo and him replying that she needs to look more feminine and grow or hair.

The court heard that there was believed to be a facility on Alt.com where Ms O’Hara could send a “more ordinary photograph” of herself to other members.

Elsewhere, a conversation with another man referred to physical content at an unspecified location, the court heard.

“Tuesday good for me, same place and time?” Mr Farrell read aloud, along with a reply to college and not working in town.

Det Wallace agreed she was liaising with the incident room about her findings, where Det Garda McCarthy created an overview of what was discovered.

His report referred to searched on Amazon and eBay, including 792 records showing activity for books and gas masks, and Googlemap searches for Hellfire Club and ‘when did Bandura die?’ and ‘stabbing’.

Det Wallace told the court it appeared that Ms O’Hara has been working on a project on World War Two with children and had made several searches referring to the war, including rationing and gas masks.

She also told the court Ms O’Hara has searched non location aspects, like the stabbing search, in the Googlemap section by accident as the window is similar to a normal Google search.

The court heard there were more than 3,000 internet search queries on the notebook with the relevant ones highlighted that might be relevant to the case.

These included “I want to die”, Mr Farrell added.

The court heard Ms O’Hara had used a number of search terms on the www.bestgore.com website. These included “Black hanging women”, “hanging”, “women hanging”, “woman stabbing”, “Stabbing 48 times”, “prostitute stabbing”, “stabbing” and one suicide reference: “Swedish man committing suicide live on the internet.”

The court heard 100,000 files were accessed on the computer on one day, August 18, 2012, and Det Gda Wallace agreed with Mr Farrell that this was probably the result of an anti-virus programme being run.

She did not believe another kind of automatic process was responsible because of the random nature of the files being accessed.

Also on August 18, 2012 there was internet access on the computer to some “mundane matters” like furniture - IKEA, Woodies and a wall-mounted drop-down table.

There was also access to a document on dyslexia and reading. There was a link between this and an external device attached to the computer.

Det Gda Wallace said this had most likely been a USB thumb drive.

Re-examining Det Gda Wallace, Sean Guerin SC, prosecuting, asked if she could say whether Ms O’Hara viewed the www.bestgore.com files on August 18, 2012.

Det Gda Wallace said her attention had been drawn to the proximity of the times files were accessed and she believed it had been an antivirus programme.

She agreed that one of the profiles on Alt.com, daddy99995, had only been blocked from appearing on chat and not sending emails.

The profile kinkycasper4 had been blocked from sending emails.

Before the court stopped for lunch, it heard from several witnesses dealing with other aspects of the investigation.

Imran Ishfaq, manager at the Market Store in Belarmine, Stepaside, told the court that a loyalty card was issued for Ms O’Hara on August 16, 2008.

Transactions on it included one for a €20 o2 top-up on Wednesday November 30, 2011.

There were five transactions in 2012 and it was last used on July 28, 2012, he agreed.

Garda Sinead McCormack, of Tallaght Garda Station, was on duty on September 13, 2013, and was dispatched to Killakee Woods following reports that skeletal remains were found.

She said she met landowner Frank Doyle and dog walker Magali Vergnet who brought her to a wooded area which she sealed off after seeing what she believed were human remains, tracksuit bottoms and a runner were recovered.

Under cross examination she told Ronan Kennedy, defence barrister, that she did not have any recollection Mr Vergnet showing her the blade of a rusty knife sticking in ground.

“It wasn’t pointed out to myself,” she added.

A woman called Linda Clerkin told Sinead McCormack, prosecuting barrister, that she had the phone number 086 175 9151 until 2009.

She agreed that she would receive calls from a Mickey Bonner in August and September 2012 on her new number and that would previously call her on her old number.

The could heard she didn’t know anything about a “Linda2004”, but agreed Letterkenny General Hospital could have had her old record on file and would have had reason to call her.

Detective Garda Ian Pemberton of the Organised Crime Unit said he was handed two iPhones by Sergeant Declan Egan on August 29, 2012. On August 30, a financial crimes analyst returned the phones and printed reports back to him. On the same date, he handed them in to Shankill Garda Station.

Detective Garda Joe O'Hara said he collected a number of exhibits at Garda Headquarters on September 29, 2013 - other mobile phones and a Tom Tom Sat Nav. He handed these in to Garda Timothy McAuliffe at Blackrock Garda Station.

Forensic Scientist Dr Fiona Thornton later told the jury she analysed a number of exhibits in the case, including items found at Killakee Woods on September 2013, as well as from searches at Vartry Reservoir and Mr Dwyer’s home and office.

The items recovered at Killakee included a pair of runners, striped sock, rusty blade, disposable cup and lid.

There was no blood found on the runners or sock and no DNA profile on the rusty blade or disposable cup, Dr Thornton told Prosecution Barrister Anne Marie Lawlor.

Objects found at another nearby site were also tested including a red bull clip with black tape and wire. There were two hairs on it and no DNA was obtained from these.

A profile was obtained from the two pieces of tape but this was of an unknown male. The profile was not Mr Dwyer’s.

There was no blood on a piece of wood with screws and twine and insufficient material to generate a DNA profile, Dr Thornton confirmed to Ms Lawlor.

There was also insufficient material to produce a profile from a bag with cable ties.

Clothes found in another location at Killakee were tested - denim shorts, black trousers and a sock. No blood or semen was found on them. There was also nothing found on plastic sheeting or a diver’s mask.

Dr Thornton confirmed that this had been cut open could not have been worn in that condition.

The items tested from Vartry Reservoir included a green hooded top and a tea towel, knives, cream-coloured and black sex toys, black leather collar and mask and vaseline tub.

The items were dirt-stained but had no blood on them and no DNA was found.

Dr Thornton agreed that if any blood had been washed off a hunting knife found in Mr Dwyer's workplace no blood would have been on the knife or in the scabbard.

However,  under cross examination she agreed with Mr Farrell there was no evidence the knife had been used, covered in blood and then cleaned.

The trial continues before Mr Justice Tony Hunt and a jury of seven men and five women.

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