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Friday 22 September 2017

Glass in victim's hand made 'death look like suicide', trial hears

Natasha Reid

A murder trial jury has been shown the alleged victim's blood-stained nightdress -- with which gardai believe she was strangled in what was made to look like a suicide.

The garment was being exhibited at the Central Criminal Court in the trial of a 42-year-old Dublin man charged with murdering his 30-year-old neighbour in Laois on April 16, 2011.

Jason Daly, of PJ Delaney Flats, Main Street, Mountrath, Co Laois, but originally from Sandyford, Co Dublin, has pleaded not guilty to murdering mother-of-one Diane Burroughs at her flat in the same building. Gardai found the woman in her bed, strangled and with neck wounds.

Forensic scientist John Hoade put on protective gloves before handling a number of exhibits in the witness box yesterday. He held up a heavily stained, light-blue, polka-dot nightdress, which had been found under Ms Burroughs' bed.

"You can see that it has been twisted," he said. "It has gone stiff from the blood staining and you can still see the creases." He said that he extracted a DNA profile from the blood on the nightdress and that it matched the profile of the deceased.

He added that if the nightdress was used to strangle Ms Burroughs, her blood being on it would suggest she was bleeding before strangulation.

Mr Daly told gardai that he cut Ms Burroughs' neck before strangling her. He told them he had used a pillowcase to choke her, but agreed with gardai that he could have been mistaken about what he used.

Detective Garda Leo Clayton, giving evidence, said Mr Daly agreed that he tried to make Ms Burroughs' death look like a suicide by putting the broken glass he used to cut her into her hand "after she passed away". When asked how he felt about it, he said: "Sick, f***ed up to be honest with you."

He had already told gardai that he and Ms Burroughs had an "on/off" relationship, but that they were together at the time of her death. He said that he had drunk a lot of vodka when he suddenly found himself strangling her.

The prosecution has now closed its case.

Mr Justice Barry White has told the nine men and three women of the jury that they will probably retire today to consider their verdict.

Irish Independent

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