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Accused went to pub after killing girlfriend, court told

A 33-year-old man killed his girlfriend by strangling her then left her body in the flat they shared and went out drinking for the rest of the night and the following day before contacting gardai, a jury has heard.

Stephen Carney strangled 27 year-old Amanda Jenkins on a Friday evening of October last year but did not tell anyone what he had done until Sunday morning.

He is on trial at the Central Criminal Court for murdering Ms Jenkins on a date between October 5 and 6, 2007 at Anna Livia Apartments, James' Street, Dublin 8.

He admits killing the dead woman but denies murder.

A statement was read into evidence from Joan Carney, the accused man's mother. In it, she said that she had been in a pub in Rialto on the Friday night when her son joined her. She said he had scratches on his face and "wasn't himself" but he did not say what was wrong with him. She rang him the next day but he was in a pub again and she gave out to him.

The court saw a video of an interview with Mr Carney which was conducted on Sunday, October 7, 2007 at Kilmainham garda station. In it, he admitted killing his girlfriend but said that he had not intended to do so.

He said he tried to ring gardai after she died on Friday but couldn't and instead left the flat to go drinking. He said he did not know where he was on Friday night and that he returned to the flat on Saturday morning for 10 minutes before going out drinking again. In the video he appeared distressed and said, "what the f**k have I done, oh Jesus".

The court earlier heard that he made a 999 call on Sunday morning and told gardai he had killed his girlfriend. Her body was found on the floor of a bedroom in the flat. He had placed a pillow under her head and covered her with a duvet.

State Pathologist Marie Cassidy told the court that she arrived at the flat on the Sunday to examine Ms Jenkins' body. She estimated that Ms Jenkins had been dead for more than 24 hours.

Prof Cassidy said the woman's face was a purplish colour, she had a dark mark around her neck and a bone in her neck was broken. She said this was consistent with manual strangulation. The body was fully clothed and there was no evidence of a protracted struggle or an attempt to resuscitate.

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In the interview video, Mr Carney said: "We had an argument on Friday, she gave me a clatter and I just lost it and strangled her."

Smoking

He said he had known Ms Jenkins for 10 years and they had been together for seven. He had been drinking during the day on the Friday and came home to find that Ms Jenkins had been smoking hash in the flat.

He did not smoke hash himself and complained about the smell. They argued in the sitting room, she hit him and he strangled her.

He told gardai he did not know what to do with the body so he dragged it into the bedroom and "went on the drink".

He told gardai that while in the flat on Saturday morning he pulled back the duvet to see if she was alright and gave her a kiss. He then walked halfway to the garda station but turned back.

He said he knew she was dead and on Sunday morning tried to hang himself by bed sheets over a door, then cut his wrists and took a quantity of tablets. When that did not work he rang gardai.

He said: "I just want to die. I'll get it right the next time, trust me. What's the point of living?"

When asked by gardai if he meant to kill Ms Jenkins he said he had not and that he just wanted to frighten her. He said it had been a stupid row which had escalated. The flat had been "really smoky and smelly" when he arrived home. He cursed at her and told her "open a f**king window". He said she told him to "f**k off". He said he put his face to hers and replied "don't tell me to f**k off". She then hit him across the face and he grabbed her by the throat.

Gardai asked him if he did it to shut her up and he replied: "Yeah, but I didn't mean to kill her." The hearing continues.


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