'Series of amazing coincidences if Nash is not murderer,' jury is told
IF a man accused of murdering two women 18 years ago is not guilty, then there is a series of "truly amazing coincidences", the prosecution told a jury.
Counsel for the State, Brendan Grehan SC, began his closing speech in the trial of Mark Nash (42) yesterday.
Mr Nash, who had last addresses at Prussia Street and Clonliffe Road in Dublin, has pleaded not guilty at the Central Criminal Court to the murder of Sylvia Shields (60) and Mary Callanan (61) between March 6 and March 7, 1997. The trial has heard the two women were living in sheltered accommodation in a house attached to St Brendan's Psychiatric Hospital in Grangegorman at the time.
Mr Grehan told the jury of six men and five women that what struck him during the course of the trial was that if a stranger had walked into court 17 in the Central Criminal Courts, they would have wondered who the case was against.
"Something about guards using a baton on Mark Nash and him not getting treatment."
He added: "Or it might have been something about some outrageous contamination happening in Forensic Science Ireland or in a garda station."
Mr Grehan continued by saying that various matters that cropped up were, in effect, "mere red herrings".
"What the prosecution says in a nutshell is that if Mark Nash is not guilty, there are a series of truly amazing coincidences." Mr Grehan referred to the fact that Mark Nash lived close by to where the Grangegorman murders took place, and how he was arrested in respect of a totally unrelated matter in August 1997 where he "volunteered admissions" to committing the killings at Grangegorman.
Mr Grehan later added: "In the aftermath of the terrible murders, one of the sole pieces of evidence which could link Mark Nash to the scene was the footprint of a Caterpillar boot - and Mark Nash owns a pair of Caterpillar boots."
Mr Grehan will continue his closing speech to the jury this morning as the trial continues.