Thursday 23 November 2017

Accused's prints found on plastic bag around head of nanny Aoife Phelan, court told

Robert Corbet being led into court, inset left, Mr Corbet, inset right Aoife Phelan
Robert Corbet being led into court, inset left, Mr Corbet, inset right Aoife Phelan

THE jury in a Laois murder trial has seen a plastic bag bearing the accused man’s palm print and two cable ties, which were found around the head and neck of the deceased woman’s body.

A ballistics expert displayed the exhibits to the Central Criminal Court this morning in the trial of a 25-year-old charged with her murder.

Robert Corbet of Capoley, Sheffield Cross, Laois has pleaded not guilty to murdering 30-year-old Laois nanny Aoife Phelan.

However he has admitted her manslaughter between October 25th and November 7th, when her body was found in a barrel, buried on his family’s land at Capoley.

Detective Sergeant Colm Reilly of the Garda Technical Bureau testified that he attended the post-mortem exam on Ms Phelan’s body from which two black cable ties and a black plastic bag were recovered. He held them up in the witness box for the jury to see.

Fingerprint expert Detective James Cunningham showed the court photographs of Mr Phelan’s left palm print.

He also showed photographs of the palm print found on the black plastic bag, which had been around Ms Phelan’s head.

“I had no doubt that the palm mark on the black bag was made by the left palm print of Robert Corbet,” he said.

The trial continues this afternoon before a jury and Mr Justice Garrett Sheehan.

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