Murder accused told gardaí victim was 'evil to me'
Published 28/07/2015 | 02:30
A retired army private accused of murdering a prostitute told gardaí "she was evil to me, but she wasn't a bad person".
Father-of-three Jimmy Devaney (66), of Millbrook Avenue, Monksland, Athlone, has pleaded not guilty at the Central Criminal Court to murdering Marie Greene in Westmeath on February 13, 2011.
The court has heard that the deceased, who was working as a prostitute, was last seen alive on the evening of February 13 and her body was found in Anagorta Bog near Ballykieran outside Athlone nine days later.
The accused told gardaí he had been blackmailed and Ms Greene threatened to tell his wife and to get her brothers after him. He told gardaí in an interview that he had given her up to €40,000 and €20,000 in the previous six months.
Alex Owens SC, prosecuting, read memos of garda interviews with the accused to the court.
The trial has heard the accused had been playing cards in a casino in Athlone that night, as he regularly did. Mr Devaney said he drove out to a bog on the Mullingar Road to talk to Ms Greene but denied bringing a knife with him. He told them he had lost control and stabbed her.
The jury was also shown videos of the accused during his detention, where he said she was swinging the knife at him and he pulled her to the ground.
He said he grabbed the knife from her and she was screaming and kicking. He said he stabbed her, he completely lost control and had just come to the end of his tether after 15 years.
"I don't feel relief that she's dead, she was evil to me but she wasn't a bad person, ya know? I don't think she was a bad person," Mr Devaney told gardaí. "She was destroying my life...I was an easy target.
"If she wanted €400 I gave it to her, if she wanted €6,000 I gave it to her. I didn't think it was going to escalate into this," he said.
"God forgive if I didn't do it today I would be going looking for more money to give her," he said in the interview.
Prosecution and defence closing speeches will be made today.