Saturday 25 March 2017

Man and woman held on river murder charge

Ralph Riegel and Barry Duggan

OVER 300 people gathered outside a special court sitting last night where two people were charged with the murder of a young man whose body was recovered from a west Cork river.

Catherine O'Connor (35) and Cyprian Grozavu (37) arrived at Bandon District Court amid tight garda security shortly before 6pm.

Both were charged before Judge James McNulty with the murder of Jonathan Duke (27) last Sunday.

The body of Mr Duke -- a Bandon native and father of one -- was recovered from underneath Bandon Bridge in the early hours of last Monday morning.

The body had been snagged on wooden debris underneath the bridge. The dead man's mother, Michelle, and one of his sisters sat silently at the back of the courtroom for the brief hearing .

Members of Ms O'Connor's family were also in attendance.

Over 40 gardai maintained a tight cordon around the courthouse throughout the 20-minute hearing.

Both defendants have addresses at 3 Bridge House, Sean Hales Place, Bandon, Co Cork.

Bail

Supt Eddie MacEoin told the court that both defendants were earlier charged at Bandon garda station. Det Garda Michael Brosnan said that he cautioned and charged Ms O'Connor and, in reply, she simply said: "No."

Garda Kieran Murphy said that he cautioned and charged Mr Grozavu and, in reply, he stated: "I didn't do it."

Ms O'Connor's counsel, Eddie Burke, asked that the court direct that his client receive required medication while on remand in Limerick Prison.

He also asked that she receive a psychiatric assessment while on remand.

"There is a history of this with her," he said.

Judge McNulty granted free legal aid after being told that Ms O'Connor was currently in receipt of disability allowance.

Free legal aid was also granted to Mr Grozavu after his counsel, Macaire Adams, told the court he was unemployed.

Judge McNulty said that as both were charged with murder, the issue of bail did not arise before the District Court.

He remanded both in custody to appear again before Bandon District Court next Monday.

Irish Independent

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