Suspect's unusual walk led to his arrest, court told
THE distinctive walk of murder accused Oliver Hayes on CCTV footage first led gardai to suspect him in the disappearance of a local widow, a court heard yesterday.
Gardai who viewed footage taken when Anne Corcoran's bank account was being cleared out recognised Hayes' walk which resulted from a football injury, the Central Criminal Court heard.
The jury in the trial of the 50-year-old painter charged with her murder viewed footage of a heavily disguised man moving to and from bank machines in Bandon and Innishannon when her money was withdrawn after her death.
Oliver Hayes of Clancool Terrace, Bandon, Co Cork, denies murder but admits the 60-year-old's manslaughter on a date between January 19 and 21 2009. He also admits falsely imprisoning her and stealing €3,000 from her account over five days.
The court heard that Mrs Corcoran went missing from her home at Maulnaskimlehane, Kilbrittain near Bandon, on January 19, 2009.
Garda David Leslie showed the jury CCTV footage taken from various businesses in Bandon and Innishannon between January 20 and 24.
A maximum amount of €600 was withdrawn from Mrs Corcoran's AIB account on each date.
Detective Sergeant Fergal Foley obtained warrant to search Mr Hayes' home on February 4 after gardai who knew Mr Hayes viewed the footage recognised his "distinctive walk".
They also recognised his grey Fiat Scudo van with its large dent and Nottingham Forest sticker. Det Sgt Foley also showed the jury photographs of bloodstains found inside Mrs Corcoran's car. The blood's DNA matched 100pc samples taken from her bathroom.
Mr Hayes denied knowing the widow during a door-to-door questionnaire about her disappearance on the day before the search warrant was granted, February 3.
When asked about his movements at the end of January, Mr Hayes said he flew to Austria on January 24 for a skiing holiday, returning on January 31.
He also mentioned that his brother worked for painter Denis McCarthy.
Mr McCarthy, who was painting Mrs Corcoran's house, was one of three people who raised the alarm. He told the court that Mrs Corcoran was home when he power-washed her house on January 10 and made tea for his two workers.
"That was the last time I saw Mrs Corcoran," he said.
Mr McCarthy returned on January 22 to begin painting but neither Mrs Corcoran or her car were there. He described seeing her dogs in the house over several visits.
When he rang her phone it went to voicemail.
He phoned again the following day and returned to the house on January 26 and there was dog mess in the house.
On January 27 he raised his concerns with a woman walking by the widow's gate and rang local mechanic Sam Winters, who knew Mrs Corcoran. On January 28, Mr Winters phoned him to say her car was parked across from his garage so he went to the garda station.
The trial continues.