Tuesday 22 August 2017

'I hit her with a hammer, she's in our workshop'

The Central Criminal Court heard Ms Shortall had been missing for four days at the time (Stock image)
The Central Criminal Court heard Ms Shortall had been missing for four days at the time (Stock image)

Andrew Phelan

Murder accused Roy Webster broke down in tears in front of gardaí and his wife as he made his confession.

"I hit her with a hammer," he said, explaining how he killed 47-year-old Anne Shortall.

Mr Webster (39) was sitting around a table in his home with gardaí to discuss Ms Shortall's disappearance.

"Have you anything to say that you are not saying...did you hurt her?" his wife Sinéad asked him softly, before he admitted what he had done.

The Central Criminal Court heard Ms Shortall had been missing for four days at the time.

Sinéad dropped to her knees and gasped, her baby in her arms, when Mr Webster then revealed that the body was in his workshop at the back of their home.

Mr Webster of Ashbree, Ashford, Co Wicklow, has denied murdering Ms Shortall on April 3, 2015, at The Murrough, Co Wicklow. He has admitted to her manslaughter.

Det Sgt Fergus O'Brien said he called to Mr Webster's home on Tuesday, April 7, 2015.

"(Ms Webster) spoke softly to him, she said 'did you hurt her?' He hesitated, his head was down, he started to cry," he said.

"Sinéad said to him, much more directly and forcefully, 'Did you hit her, Roy?'

"His head was down and he started to cry and he said 'I did'.

"I asked him the question then, 'where is she Roy?' And then Sinéad said 'with what?'

"He said 'I hit her with a hammer'.

"I said, 'where is she Roy?' And he said 'she is in the workshop'. At that stage, Sinéad Webster asked 'in our workshop?' And he said 'yes'." The court heard how Mr Webster claimed Ms Shortall put him under too much pressure.

"I hit her a couple of blows, a mistake that is after ruining so many lives," he told gardaí. Mr Webster took the gardaí to his workshop.

"I saw a pair of hands and the hands were at the front of a body and they were taped up with silver duct tape", Det Sgt O'Brien said. "I called out to Roy, did you tape up her hands, and he said 'yes I did'." The trial continues.

Irish Independent

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