Sunday 17 December 2017

Anna Finnegan wrote letter to murder accused saying he 'beat her, made her life hell and almost killed her' - court hears

Vesel Jahiri, left, and Anna Finnegan, right. Photo: Collins
Vesel Jahiri, left, and Anna Finnegan, right. Photo: Collins

Alison O'Riordan

Anna Finnegan wrote a letter to her former partner, who is accused of her murder, where she stated that he had beaten her, made her life "hell" and had almost killed her a few times, a jury has heard.

Videos of Vesel Jahiri's fifth and sixth garda interviews were shown to a Central Criminal Court jury today in the fifth week of the 35-year-old's trial.

Mr Jahiri, originally from Kosovo but of no fixed abode, has pleaded not guilty to murdering Anna Finnegan (25) at Allendale Glen, Clonsilla, Dublin 15 on September 21, 2012.

He has also pleaded not guilty to assaulting Karl Finnegan, causing him harm, at the same place on the same date.

Mr Jahiri has dismissed his legal team and is now representing himself at the trial.

Inspector Ann Ellis previously gave evidence in the trial that she was involved in a search at Allendale Glen on September 23. The witness said she located a handbag in the kitchen that contained a three-paged letter which may have been written by Anna Finnegan. Insp Ellis also located a protection order in a press.

Today, prosecution counsel Mr Patrick Marrinan SC played the fifth and sixth videos of interview, recorded in Blanchardstown Garda Station on September 23.

Mr Jahiri told gardai that he had received a protection order in the post two weeks previously. The court heard the accused had also received summonses for a barring order and a safety order.

The accused denied to gardai that he was a jealous boyfriend and said he and Anna "sometimes" had arguments.

Detective Garda Bernard Connaughton told Mr Jahiri that gardai had found a letter located in Anna’s handbag in Allendale Glen. “It was a letter she (Anna) wrote to you, it wasn’t sent to you,” said Det Gda Connaughton.

The court heard that there was no date on the letter but it was written two or three weeks previously, before Anna moved to Bray Women’s Refuge with her two children.

Det Gda Connaughton told Mr Jahiri that this letter showed how possessive, controlling and jealous he was of Anna Finnegan. Det Gda Connaughton then read the letter to Mr Jahiri.

"Vesel, before you assume I’m running off with your kids I’m not. I’m minding them for a couple of weeks. You promised me you would let me go when you were ready. This is me doing this. I haven’t said it to anyone, this is me and you and no one else. I’m staying at a women’s shelter until we sort this out," she wrote.

Ms Finnegan wrote that she did not want to continue being "controlled, threatened, called names and beaten" by Mr Jahiri. “You have almost killed me a few times and I don’t deserve it,” she wrote.

Ms Finnegan stated in the letter that she could not live with Mr Jahiri as he made her life “hell.” She asked him to stop blaming her as it was not her fault.

The mother-of-two said she did not deserve to live like this. “You owe me a solution after all the bad things you did to me over the years. I know you’re not a bad person and need help but you are dangerous until you see a doctor.  We made a deal three months ago and you broke it,” she wrote.

Ms Finnegan said that Mr Jahiri was “ok twenty percent of the time" and she felt "bad" for doing this. “You should never hit a woman unless they hit you first and you have too many times, it’s no excuse,” she wrote.

Ms Finnegan stated in the letter that she had told no one else that she was going to Bray Women’s Refuge. “I’m not a bad person and don’t deserve any of this but you living here and controlling me is not an option. I lived with you long enough to know its going to get worse," she wrote.

Mr Jahiri told gardai that Anna had not written this letter on her own. The accused denied that he had almost killed his former partner a few times and said he did “not really do bad things.”

When gardai put it to Mr Jahiri that it was as if Anna was forecasting her own death, the accused said he had told Anna that maybe it was better for them both if he left.

Gardai also put it to the accused that he had manipulated Anna from the day he met her. Mr Jahiri denied this and said Anna wanted to be with him and she would not leave him alone.

Opening the prosecution case to a jury five weeks ago, Mr Marrinan said that Mr Jahiri and Anna Finnegan were in a relationship for about ten years and had two children together. However, their relationship “turned sour” prior to September 2012 and they ended up separating. It is alleged that Mr Jahiri stabbed Ms Finnegan to death after he “battered” down her front door and attacked her and her brother.

The trial continues before Mr Justice Paul Coffey and a jury of nine men and two women.

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