Friday 15 December 2017

Accused was fed up looking after mum, trial told

Eleanor Joel
Eleanor Joel
Evelyn Joel
Jonathan Costen

Eimear Ni Bhraonain

THE daughter accused of the unlawful killing of Evelyn Joel was "fed up" looking after her mother, a jury has heard.

As the trial reaches its final stages at Wexford Circuit Criminal Court, prosecution counsel Justin Dillon told the jury in his closing speech to remember the frankness of Eleanor Joel's statement to gardai.

"To be honest with you, I was fed up looking after her and that is all I have to say," is what Eleanor Joel said to gardai.

The 37-year-old and her partner Jonathan Costen (39), of Cluain Dara, Enniscorthy, Co Wexford, have both pleaded not guilty to the unlawful killing of Evelyn Joel (59) by neglect.

Evelyn Joel died in Wexford General Hospital on January 7, 2006.

In closing, Mr Dillon said Eleanor Joel and her partner, Mr Costen, had failed to deal with Evelyn Joel's immobility. He said Evelyn Joel had taken to the bed in November 2005 and was bedridden from then on.

"There is a sense that the HSE has been put in the dock," he said, before adding that there was no evidence Eleanor Joel or Mr Costen had asked for help.

The court heard that the jury was dealing with two people who lead ordinary lives. He outlined how there was no indication that Eleanor Joel suffered from an obvious intellectual impairment -- and that on the contrary, she was able to write an 8,000-word life history for a psychologist.


He said it struck him after watching the video interview of Mr Costen with gardai that he was "well able to look after himself".

Jury members were told it was up to them to decide whether the neglect of Evelyn Joel was "so gross that it must be characterised as criminal".

Mr Dillon referred to the smell in the house in Cluain Dara where Evelyn Joel was living with Eleanor and Mr Costen.

He said the defence had described Evelyn as a "stubborn lady" who didn't like going to hospital but "it was clear she consulted with doctors, she took painkillers. . . evidence suggests she wasn't adverse to receiving some kind of attention".

Mr Dillon also said questions were raised about Eleanor Joel's credibility because of differing statements given to gardai and Dr Brian Glanville about changing her mother's nappies.

The trial before Judge Gerard Griffin continues with the closing speech of the defence counsel today.

Irish Independent

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