Saturday 29 April 2017

Homeless murder: photograph of toe sent from phone linked to accused

Ciaran Moran (29) who is on trial for the murder of homeless man Gerard Donnelly
Ciaran Moran (29) who is on trial for the murder of homeless man Gerard Donnelly

Natasha Reid

A PHOTOGRAPH of a toe was sent from a phone attributed to a murder accused the night after he’s alleged to have killed an acquaintance who was found ablaze with his toe amputated.

A jury heard the evidence this morning in the trial of a 29-year-old homeless man, charged with murdering another homeless man in a Dublin park in 2013.

The Central Criminal Court has heard that 36-year-old Gerard Donnelly had almost €150,000 just weeks before Gardaí found his body on fire in the Phoenix Park. The father of one died of blunt force trauma to the head before being set alight and having his little toe amputated.

Ciaran Moran, with an address at Camden Hall, Camden Street in Dublin has pleaded not guilty to murdering Mr Donnelly at an unknown time during November 28th or 29th, 2013.

Detective Garda Eamon O’Brien testified this morning that he found an image of a toe on a Sony Xperia phone that a friend of the accused said he had taken from Mr Moran on November 30th.

The detective said the image was in the sent folder of WhatsApp, a mobile application used to send messages. He said it had been created at 10.41pm on November 29th and seemed to have been sent from the phone at that time. He did not have any information on the recipient.

Richard Doyle testified last week that he had taken the Sony from the accused to call an ambulance for him on the night of November 30th. He said the accused disappeared before he could return the phone to him. He handed it over to gardai a few days later.

The trial continues this afternoon before Ms Justice Margaret Heneghan and a jury of nine men and three women.

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